MERS | St. Clair County sues banks for allegedly avoiding property recording fees

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MERS | St. Clair County sues banks for allegedly avoiding property recording fees

MERS | St. Clair County sues banks for allegedly avoiding property recording fees

STLToday-

St. Clair County and two of its elected officials filed a civil suit this afternoon against more than a score of banks — from the Bank of America to local operations — alleging they created a scheme to evade county fees and shield property transfer records from the public.

The suit, in St. Clair County Circuit Court, says the banks created a database company, called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, which enabled them to avoid the payment of fees to the county’s recorder of deeds by having MERS assume the mortgage titles.

Through the system, the banks can avoid publicly recording mortgage transfers, even if those mortgages are transferred multiple times as banks sell the loans among each other.

MERS and Merscorp. Inc., also are named as defendants in the case brought by State’s Attorney Brendan Kelly and Recorder of deeds Mike Costello.

“The system set up by MERS allows financial institutions to avoid transparency in transfer of property and to evade county recording fees which every other citizen has to pay,” Kelly complained.

[STLTODAY]

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