Yes, the banks don’t want you to see what they’re doing–or not doing, as the case may be. Specifically, they don’t want you to see that they have separated your note from your deed of trust/mortgage. In my opinion (and I am not an attorney) there are two main, unstated reasons for the existence of MERS: 1) to separate the security document from the note and 2) to purport to rejoin them as if they’d never been separated at the time of foreclosure.
The purpose of point 1 above (the purpose of point 2 is self-explanatory): for banks/financiers to be able to pledge or “sell” the same note multiple times (see this, this, and this)–i.e., rehypothecate–without having to indicate that the note has been sold multiple times in the county land records (via assignments in said records that used to be required for each sale of the note). That’s MERS’ stated reason for existence:
“Through this role as mortgagee or beneficiary in the security instrument, our members no longer need to record assignments of the mortgage when ownership of the promissory note or servicing rights transfer between members because the security instrument—the mortgage or deed of trust—remains in the name of MERS. This reduces work and at least $30 in assignment recording fees.”
The new feudalism is here
What MERS doesn’t mention here is that MERS not only reduces work and assignment costs, it also reduces transparency and certainty in the land/title records. MERS reduces transparency and certainty in the land/title records to effectively a state of being completely opaque.
That is to say, the use of MERS subverts the entire purpose of property records–which is to accurately determine which entity owns which piece of real estate. I believe the reason for this subversion is to create exactly the situation we are now in–to have the courts rule that the banks own all real property regardless of mountains of evidence to the contrary in order to establish de facto feudalism as discussed in “Who Owns What: Banks And The New Feudalism.“ From that article:
“Durbin says, “[the banks] frankly own the place.” And that’s the name of the game, isn’t it–ownership? As we’re seeing, that’s how ownership is being resolved in the courts: the banks own everything, the people own nothing, despite the litany of well-known fraud and wrongdoing that Dayen points out above. The question of who owns what is being decided, right now, and the decision is almost unanimously in favor of the banks, not the people. And that’s not an accident. It’s the new feudalism, and it based on nothing more than paper…”
It is worth noting that today is Bastille Day, the annual commemoration of a seminal moment of the French Revolution: the storming of the Bastille. About three weeks later, French feudalism was abolished. How can it be that we are letting our own Bastille–i.e., the system of money as debt–fill up with debt peons without doing anything about it? How can it be possible that we could be less informed or less motivated than 18th-century peasants to get out from under this crushing tyranny of debt and the new feudalism it has established?
How to get QE money–have “bad mortgages” on your books
Not only does this rehypothecation/multiple-pledging allow more money to be made from one piece of collateral, it also allows for more QE/bailout money to be funneled to a given bank because it stands to reason that the more junk/toxic assets (i.e., rehypothecated/multiple-pledged notes) a bank can be shown to hold, the more QE/bailout money it will receive. QE was confirmed to be a massive Wall Street bailout by a former Federal Reserve official:
“I can only say: I’m sorry, America. As a former Federal Reserve official, I was responsible for executing the centerpiece program of the Fed’s first plunge into the bond-buying experiment known as quantitative easing. The central bank continues to spin QE as a tool for helping Main Street. But I’ve come to recognize the program for what it really is: the greatest backdoor Wall Street bailout of all time.
…Trading for the first round of QE ended on March 31, 2010. The final results confirmed that, while there had been only trivial relief for Main Street, the U.S. central bank’s bond purchases had been an absolute coup for Wall Street. The banks hadn’t just benefited from the lower cost of making loans. They’d also enjoyed huge capital gains on the rising values of their securities holdings and fat commissions from brokering most of the Fed’s QE transactions. Wall Street had experienced its most profitable year ever in 2009, and 2010 was starting off in much the same way.”
So if you’re a bank with more crap bonds–i.e., mortgage-backed securites a/k/a re-hypothecated, multiple-pledged notes–you not only were made whole by QE, but you were also pushed to new profit highs. See–the MERS system is a great tool for both stealing houses and for stealing cash from the taxpayers…I mean, reducing paperwork and costs.
Garfield on the MERS problem
Neil Garfield of Living Lies today points out the following regarding MERS:
“The principal point is that public records are intended to provide certainty in the marketplace. MERS does the opposite. If you see MERS in the title chain, it means automatically that the loan is subject to claims of securitization. And we now know that most such claims are false. Hence satisfactions of mortgage, the filings of lis pendens, notices of sale, notices of default, substitutions of trustees, and all those robo-signed, forged, fabricated assignments, allonges etc. are all clouds on title.”
Garfield then favorably posts a section from the case of Dow v. PHH Mortgage, a Wisconsin Supreme Court review of an appeals court decision, which states in part:
“The lack of disclosure may create substantial difficulty when a homeowner wishes to negotiate the terms of his or her mortgage or enforce a legal right against the mortgagee and is unable to learn the mortgagee’s identity.
Public records will no longer contain this information as . . . the MERS system will render the public record useless by masking beneficial ownership of mortgages and eliminating records of assignments altogether. Not only will this information deficit detract from the amount of public data accessible for research and monitoring of industry trends, but it may also function, perhaps unintentionally, to insulate a noteholder from liability, mask lender error and hide predatory lending practices.“
The justice gives MERS and the banksters too much credit (pun intended) here–a purported noteholder’s insulation from liability is not at all an unintentional function of MERS. As we have seen, it is the primary–though for good reason, unstated–function of MERS. In other words, MERS is the invisibility cloak of the banksters.
IMPORTANT NOTE/DISCLAIMER: The above article is not legal advice and was not written by an attorney. It is merely a collection of common-sense, rational observations written by a sane, rational layperson with common sense. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney for any and all legal advice and/or action.