If the banks had handled the securitization process properly the county losses would be substantially higher. Although it varies between banks, the average number of transfers is 3-4 to get to the trust. None of which we have ever found properly recorded between 2003-2008. Additionally, the rehypothecation of the collateral is, as far as we know, relatively overlooked altogether.
Clatsop County is joining 11 other counties in a $50 million lawsuit against a private mortgage registry over recording fees.
The lawsuit alleges that Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, or MERS, owes the counties millions of dollars in unpaid fees.
“We think we’re probably missing out on somewhere between $35,000 or $70,000 a year in filing fees,” Clatsop County Manager Cameron Moore said.
Under state law, whenever mortgage debt is bought or sold, the transfer must be recorded in county records. MERS, a private registry created in 1995 by the banking industry, has been serving as the owner of record. The mortgage-industry company has, for years, essentially transferred the beneficial interest of a property to itself, circumventing the typical filing fee owed to the county clerk’s office, Clatsop County Counsel Heather Reynolds told county commissioners last week.