Articles from The Massachusetts Focus
Newsletter of Stewart Title Guaranty Company, Massachusetts Offices
Winter 2007, Volume 6, Number 1
by Donald A. Brown, Senior Paralegal, FCSR
I have been getting many calls lately concerning MERS mortgages. Most of the inquires have to do with the fact that mortgages being held by MERS are not being discharged in the name of MERS, but discharged by the particular lender who services such loans under the MERS system. This makes the discharge of the mortgage improper.
Here are two quick examples of the calls I have been getting involving improperly discharged MERS mortgages:
Here is the first example: I have a mortgage that is being held by MERS as nominee for ABC lender, the mortgage is then affected by a discharge coming directly from the ABC lender. If the mortgage is held by MERS, then a proper discharge of the mortgage should come from MERS. We would need either an assignment from MERS into the particular nominee lender under MERS or a corrective discharge coming in the name of MERS.
Here is the second example: I have a mortgage that is being held by MERS as nominee for ABC lender, the mortgage is subsequently assigned out of the MERS system directly to ABC lender, and the mortgage is ultimately affected by a discharge coming from MERS. In this case we would need an assignment from ABC lender into MERS or proper discharge of the mortgage coming directly from ABC lender.
Regarding these issues here is an article that ran in the Fall 2002, Vol. 1, No. 3 issue of The Massachusetts Focus.
How to Request Discharges From MERS
By Donald Brown
This is a follow-up to my last article in the Summer issue of The Massachusetts Focus, Paralegal Page, relative to discharges. In the usual business of requesting a discharge, release or satisfaction, Mortgage Electronic Registrations Systems, hereinafter “MERS,” has a system implemented, by which it is very easy to track down payoff information and obtain discharges for its loans.
When looking at the mortgage, there should be a Mortgage Identification Number (MIN). It is an 18-digit number, which can only be used for that loan. This number is very important because this is how MERS tracks any of its loans. There is a toll free number for MERS to call and obtain payoff information, which is (888) 679-6377. When you call the toll free number you will find that it is an automated system. Just simply follow the instructions on the automated system, in which it will ask you to provide the 18-digit number. When you provide the system with the information, it will provide you the name of the lender who services the mortgage. Once you receive that information, you are to contact that lender directly for payoff information. When the mortgage is paid, the lender, who is acting as the servicer of the mortgage, will prepare the discharge as an authorized agent of MERS.
When you have an old MERS mortgage that is simply undischarged, or improperly discharged, take the same approach as described above.
WHO discharges the mortgages? MERS appoints a particular lender to service the mortgage and authorizes that lender to release mortgages recorded in MERS’ name. In the usual course, the lender receiving the payoff will prepare a discharge in MERS’ name and will execute a discharge on behalf of MERS. That lender is also the correct person to obtain a confirmatory or duplicate discharge in the correct name.
For a more information about the MERS system see the MERS website at http://www.mersinc.org/. This website is very useful in obtaining information relative to mortgages under the MERS system.
Also see Ward Graham’s article immediately following in this newsletter for an in depth review of the MERS system.
In recently going online to the www.masslandrecords.com, I found that they have added the Bristol County Fall River District Registry of Deeds to their website. It is still a pay per view site. In order to view documents you will need to set up an account. You can also get their by accessing the Massachusetts Secretary of State’s website at www.state.ma.us/sec/index.htm.
Websites and Phone Numbers to Know: (if needed)
Helpful in providing information relative entities incorporated with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
Used to locate banks through closings and mergers.
Provides information for Bank, Savings Associations and holding companies that are FDIC Insured (especially helpful in finding banks that have been taken over by the FDIC).
Bankruptcy Automated System 617-565-6025
Provides voice activated information by name, social security number, or docket number.