U.S. Court of Appeals Affirms Dismissal of Federal RICO Lawsuit against MERS and Mortgage Lenders


Appeals Court Rejects Attempt to Undo Florida Foreclosure Judgment

Reston, Virginia – May 28, 2012 – (RealEstateRama) — MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. today announced that a three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit affirmed a 2011 decision by U.S. District Court Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga that dismissed an attack on the validity of a Florida foreclosure judgment and thwarted the plaintiffs’ attempt to receive damages through a Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) complaint against MERS and others.

“Figueroa was a state-court loser in his state court foreclosure proceeding,” the Court of Appeals wrote in its May 11, 2012, Order. “Figueroa raised many of the same fraud claims that now underlie his federal RICO claims and asserted that he intended to file a counterclaim for damages under the federal RICO statute. Although Figueroa failed to litigate his RICO claims in state court, he had a reasonable opportunity to do so.”

“We are sensitive to the effects the downward economy has had on consumers over the past several years; however, increased attempts to avoid legitimate foreclosure proceedings via tactical legal maneuvers has failed time and again in both federal and state court rulings,” said MERSCORP Holdings Vice President of Corporate Communications, Janis L. Smith. “We are pleased that rulings in MERS’ favor on these matters are growing by the day, further validating its valid business practices.”

For descriptions of cases and other materials pertaining to MERS’ role and business model 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 about 3,000 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.

Jason Lobo
Phone: 703-652-1660

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