Live Blogging at the Dodd-Frank Symposium: Tracking Securitized Residential Mortgages

Nancy Wallace from the Haas School of Business followed her fellow Haas colleague with a talk on the evolution of residential mortgage recording and tracking and the legal implications of MERS.

Some Key Highlights:

  • Residential Mortgage Recording and Tracking has Diverged: while so-called “Shoebox” technology continue to be used to record and track property interest transfers (property sales) at county-level recording offices, the MERS system has supplanted the old technology and now comprises over 60% of the recording/tracking market.
  • Chain of Title and Chain of Mortgage (Promissory Note) Separated Under MERS: the MERS system has detached the dual-recording/tracking of both property title and mortgage, which has significant complications for determining property ownership and mortgage liability.
  • Transfer Language in Pooling-Servicing Agreement (PSA): the property transfer language MERS-tracked PSAs use stock MERS language that some courts have not given full recognition.
  • Why does this matter: participants in the market for mortgage-backed securities may suffer significant financial losses if the validity of MERS transfers cannot be upheld.

A complete description of the presentation can be found here.