Rhode Island Superior Court Affirms MERS’ Authority


Judge cites state Supreme Court ruling, says issue has been “conclusively resolved”

Reston, Virginia, – July 29, 2013 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that Rhode Island Superior Court Associate Justice Allen P. Rubine rejected another claim of wrongful foreclosure against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) and other co-defendants.

In Akalarian v. RBMG, Inc., et al, the borrower challenged MERS’ authority to assign the mortgage and claimed that the MERS assignment to IndyMac nullified IndyMac’s subsequent foreclosure.

In his ruling in favor of the defendants, Associate Justice Rubine wrote, “This issue has been conclusively resolved by the recent Rhode Island Supreme Court decision in Bucci v. Lehman Bros. Bank, FSB wherein the Court affirmed MERS’ authority to act as a mortgagee and as nominee of the lender pursuant to a mortgage contract and to exercise the statutory power of sale granted to MERS under that contract.” Justice Rubine also found that the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s adoption of the First Circuit’s reasoning in Culhane v. Aurora supported his finding that “a mortgagee executing a mortgage assignment need not be explicitly acting as an agent of the noteholder in order to transfer its bare legal interest in the mortgage …”

“With the Superior Court’s consistent rulings on this issue, and the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s decision in Bucci, the questions regarding MERS’ role in mortgage loan transactions has been consistently upheld,” said Janis L. Smith, MERSCORP Holdings Vice President of Corporate Communications. “The law in Rhode Island is clear.”

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.

CONTACT: Karmela Lejarde
Phone: 703-761-1274

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