A Seattle housing activist on Wednesday uploaded an explosive land-record audit that the local City Council had been sitting on, revealing its far-reaching conclusion: that all assignments of mortgages the auditors studied are void.
That makes any foreclosures in the city based on these documents illegal and unenforceable, and makes the King County recording offices where the documents are located a massive crime scene.
The problems stem from the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems(MERS), an entity banks created so they could transfer mortgages privately, saving them billions of dollars in transfer fees to public recording offices. In Washington state, MERS’ practices were found illegal by the State Supreme Court in 2012. But MERS continued those practices with only cosmetic changes, the audit found.