Ninth Circuit Affirms MERS’ Authority to Assign Deed of Trust


Reston, Virginia – April 2, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court’s judgment dismissing the borrower’s wrongful foreclosure claim.

In Tung Q Lam, v. JPMorgan Chase Bank NA et al, the borrower argued that Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (“MERS”) lacked authority to assign the deed of trust because MERS lost its status as agent of the promissory note holder when the note was assigned to subsequent entities.

In its order, the Ninth Circuit held the plaintiff’s argument “is foreclosed by his agreement in the deed of trust that MERS would have the right to ‘exercise any or all of [the lender’s] interests,’” which includes the authority to assign the deed of trust.
“The authority to assign is a reoccurring issue brought in many of the cases that MERS defends and this authority is routinely upheld by courts across the country,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President for Corporate Communications, Janis Smith. “MERS has legal authority to act on behalf of the lender – including the right to execute the assignment – and this authority is granted by plain language in the mortgage document signed at closing by the borrower.”

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ business model and role in U.S. housing, please visit


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.

CONTACT: Janis Smith
Phone: 703-738-0230

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