Oregon counties file $50 million lawsuit against mortgage servic - KPTV - FOX 12

Oregon counties file $50 million lawsuit against mortgage services company

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Source: KPTV Source: KPTV

A $50 million lawsuit was filed on behalf of 11 Oregon counties against Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, for allegedly failing to pay recording fees to counties as required by Oregon law.

It's a claim the company denies.

The lawsuit was filed in Multnomah County Circuit Court on Thursday representing Clackamas, Coos, Crook, Jackson, Josephine, Klamath, Lane, Linn, Marion, Washington, and Yamhill counties.

Attorneys for the counties allege mortgage lenders, including MERS, operated relatively scrutiny-free because they were able to offload high-risk mortgages, allowing them to be sold over and over again.

"This scheme allowed MERS to bypass the County Recorder's office, denying the County filing fees and preventing the Counties from having an accurate record of property ownership in their counties," according to a release from D'Amore Law Group.

"The real point of the counties' lawsuit is to get back unpaid filing fees that MERS and these institutions didn't pay. In effect MERS was taking advantage of the benefits of our public recording system," said Tom D'Amore of D'Amore Law Group.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems released a statement about the lawsuit Thursday that states information released to the media by D'Amore is "inaccurate."

"At no point in time has the integrity of Oregon land records ever been compromised by the use of MERS. MERS has been challenged in similar lawsuits before and has consistently prevailed on the issues. We will vigorously defend this litigation," according to the company statement.

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