There are many tools that a Washington state foreclosure defense attorney has at their disposal, but the Washington State Supreme Court just gave home owners another tool at their disposal to combat pending foreclosures or foreclosures that should not have happened in the first place. The Washington State Supreme Court ruled that the nations largest Mortgage Electronic Registration System, MERS, cannot foreclose on a borrowers home by itself. The court ruled that MERS cannot foreclose on a home because MERS does not actually own the note the homeowner signed with the lender. The result of this ruling is that the banks will have to initiate the foreclosure process instead of relying on MERS. This may cause banks to delay the foreclosure process in general because they must handle the foreclosures themselves. Further, the ruling in this case could open the door for former homeowners who were unlawfully foreclosed on to win damages based on Washington state’s consumer protection laws.
MERS gained notoriety during the mortgage crises throughout the country and has been involved in most mortgages beginning in the late 1990’s when the buying and selling of mortgages became popular. MERS allowed for banks to sell their loans to investors without actually recording who the owner of the note was in the local county, creating mass confusion as to who the actual owner of a note was. According to the Seattle Times MERS initiated over 900 foreclosures in King country between 1999 and 2011. Therefore this new ruling will definitely have an impact on how the foreclosure process takes place in Washington State moving forward. Hopefully this new ruling will allow owners to know who actually owns their note and make the big banks accountable and become transparent in their actions moving forward.
If you have additional questions please call Symmes Law Group to set up your free consultation at 206-682-7975