Court Finds Cleveland, County Oklahoma Board of Commissioners Lacks Standing
Reston, Virginia – April 30, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Oklahoma State District Judge Lori Walkley of the Cleveland County, Oklahoma District Court dismissed a recording fee suit filed by the Cleveland County Board of County Commissioners, ruling in favor of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. and Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS).
In Board of County Commissioners of the County of Cleveland v. MERSCORP Holdings, Inc., et al., Judge Walkley dismissed a class action suit filed on behalf of Cleveland County and others similarly situated in the State of Oklahoma. The plaintiff sought to compel the defendants to record mortgages and mortgage assignments, past and future, and to pay the associated recording fees. Plaintiff also brought claims for unjust enrichment and civil conspiracy.
Judge Walkley dismissed the case in its entirety, holding that there is no private right of action to enforce the provisions of the statutes (46 O.S. §1 et seq.) the County sought to enforce.
“[Oklahoma’s recording statutes] clearly have the purpose of providing notice to the world of the asserted interests in property and do not convey a cause of action other than to those with a direct interest in the property or mortgage,” Judge Walkley wrote. “[T]his court finds there is no private right of action to enforce the provision [sought by the Board of County Commissioners].”
“Courts across the country are dismissing recorder fee lawsuits, including counties in Iowa, Florida, Arkansas, Illinois, Missouri and Kentucky,” MERSCORP Holdings’ Director of Corporate Communications Jason Lobo said.
For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit www.mersinc.org.
MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. is a privately held corporation that owns and manages the MERS® System and all other MERS® products. It is a member-based organization made up of thousands of lenders, servicers, sub-servicers, investors and government institutions. Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) serves as the mortgagee in the land records for loans registered on the MERS® System, and is a nominee (or agent) for the owner of the promissory note. The MERS® System is a national electronic database that tracks changes in mortgage servicing and beneficial ownership interests in residential mortgage loans on behalf of its members.