MERS: The Unreported Effects of Lost Chain of Title on Real Property Owners


MERS: The Unreported Effects of Lost Chain of Title on Real Property Owners

MERS: The Unreported Effects of Lost Chain of Title on Real Property Owners

By: David E. Woolley



It has been widely reported that MERS1 has broken or severely diluted2 the chain of title for real property records, but what does this mean? To understand the importance of the chain of title to a property and the complexities of land boundaries we need to look no further than the advice given to practicing attorneys.

“To properly evaluate a case, counsel and survey experts often must examine chains of title for all properties subject to the dispute. In the case of a boundary dispute, it may be necessary to search the chain of title back to a patent to determine paramount title or to locate true boundaries.” 3

As is readily apparent, a broken chain of title will have adverse effects on adjoining properties and in many instances the boundaries of properties within an entire neighborhood. Attorneys are advised to “seriously consider not taking the case or withdrawing from it.” If attorneys are advised to “seriously consider” withdrawing, how will the common victim of MERS (by proxy) get relief?

The complexity of the problem is obvious. As lenders and title insurers pass responsibility back and forth, property owners who purchased a foreclosed property that had been in the MERS system (and now have broken chains of title) and their neighbors will be forced into expensive and complex litigation in order to determine their boundaries.

Who will be financially responsible for the litigation to quiet title?
This White Paper documents the importance of a chain of title and the far reaching effects of a lost chain of title.

[ipaper docId=61582207 access_key=key-nwuvl3v86jxwul57xco height=600 width=600 /]

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