David E. Woolley is the author of the attached white paper. Mr. Woolley is a California Licensed
Land Surveyor and Certified Fraud Examiner with over 24 years of experience and is the
principal in Harbinger Analytics Group:

“Thanks to the Mortgage Electronic Registry System’s (“MERS”) failure to accurately  complete and/or publically record property conveyances in the frenzy of banks securitizing home loans and in subsequent foreclosure actions,1 neighbors to a foreclosed property (with a sequential conveyance) as well as the foreclosed property itself will have unclear boundaries and clouded/unmarketable titles making it difficult, if not impossible, for these homeowners to sell their properties and for subsequent purchasers to obtain title insurance on that property.  MERS now keeps electronic records on about half of the home mortgages in the United States.

Many problems with MERS and the home loan securitization process have been reported in print media (countless articles), in movies (the Inside Job) and on television (most recently on the April 3, 2011 edition of 60 Minutes).  Academic professors such as Christopher L. Peterson of the University of Utah, S.J. Quincy College of Law, have written extensively on what is wrong with MERS.

Courts have ruled against MERS’ standing to foreclose and have criticized the MERS model as being flawed, wholly inaccurate and not allowing homeowners to fight foreclosures because it shields the true owner of a mortgage in public records.5  States Attorneys’  General and federal bank regulators are investigating MERS practices including fraudulently robo-signing and back dating missing documents.  A few County Registrars of Deeds are claiming that they are owed millions of dollars in lost revenue from mortgage assignment transfers that were not recorded because MERS was listed as the mortgagee in public land records.

Full PDF after the jump . . .

MERS Report: Chain of Title Problems

Category: Foreclosures, Legal, Real Estate, Think Tank

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

7 Responses to “MERS Has Broken Or Diluted Chain Of Title”

  1. [...] MERS Has Broken Or Diluted Chain Of Title [...]

  2. Pacioli says:

    Do the authors know the difference between a ‘foreword’ and ‘forward’?

  3. jkellum says:

    Where were the title insurers when this slow-rolling disaster was taking place? Don’t they stand to suffer the most with this breach of chain of title?

  4. budhak0n says:

    The “homeowners” don’t OWN the properties anymore.

    The Banks do. That’s the purpose of the foreclosure. You can sit on the land all you like. Proclaim squatters rights. Tell everyone that you never have to pay nobody nuttin.

    You don’t own the house. You never paid for it. The bank did.

  5. rktbrkr says:

    Title insurance normally covers the banks interest not the homeowers interest.

    Last year when there was news about homebuyers not being able to get title insurance for BAC foreclosures in Florida BAC worked out a deal with a title insurer where they guaranteed title to the insurer – in other words BAC was insuring the insurer. I wondered at the time if that was a one and done, the next buyer of the property wouldn’t be able to get title insurance in the open market without the BAC guarantee being there anymore. Never saw any clarification.

    I don’t think a MERS property next door would cloud a neighbors title, the neighbor is able to prove his ownership and property limits it’s the MERS homeower who can’t prove anything.

    Court rulings are turning against MERS, this is turning into the world’s biggest clusterfuck and it must be overwhelming in the bubble states. I hope these all cash buyers are getting title searches before they plunk down their money, if a bank won’t give you a mortgage for a property you might not want to own it!

  6. DWoolley says:

    The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruling on Bevilacqua v. Rodriguez case which is representative of the future problems. Property lines are common to both properties, once confused they become problems for both parties.

    I believe the title companies will refuse to underwrite foreclosures once lenders have sold the property. I believe the lenders and the title companies have an indemnification in place. For example, one of the four primary title companies, Old Republic Title, immediately quit underwriting foreclosures when the robo signatures came to light. It has been reported the title companies will not underwrite foreclosures in Michigan. Many cash deals forego obtaining an owners title insurance policy, so the problems go undetected.

  7. Pat McGroin says:


    You write, “Court rulings are turning against MERS, this is turning into the world’s biggest clusterfuck and it must be overwhelming in the bubble states. I hope these all cash buyers are getting title searches before they plunk down their money, if a bank won’t give you a mortgage for a property you might not want to own it!”

    Well, my wife and I are in the process of purchasing (with cash) a short sale property in So Cal. “Bubble state”…check. All cash transaction…check.

    I emailed our RE agent about hiring an attorney for the transaction (we’re new to CA…and with my only RE transaction thus far – NJ in 1999 – it was common procedure to hire a RE attorney for most purchases), and her response was, “We actually do not use attorneys in CA unless there is a legal action on a real estate transaction.
    The escrow officer will handle title and there is a title officer who will be your advocate.”

    Now I don’t now (yet) whether the “title officer” she’s referring to is an employee of BofA (who is supposedly “representing an investor” in this particular case), or whether it would be a more independent operator. Understandably, I’d be skeptical if it turned out to be a a BofA employee.

    I’m considering seeking the advise of a RE attorney anyways…but thought I’d solicit opinions here in the meantime. I’m also wondering if it would make sense to obtain or own title insurance, since we aren’t taking out a mortgage in this case.