Kramer Kaslow: Office of Comptroller of the Currency signs Cease and Desist Order with MERS Corp.

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Philip Kramer Weighs in on latest settlement agreement between the U.S. government and MERS Corp.

Kramer & Kaslow

The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency has just signed a Cease and Desist settlement agreement with MERS Corp (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems). Among other things, the Cease and Desist order finds, “We have identified certain deficiencies and unsafe or unsound practices by MERS and MERSCORP that present financial, operational, compliance, legal and reputational risks to MERSCORP and MERS, and to the participating Members.” (OCC No. AA-EC-11-20; Board of Governors; Docket Nos. 11-051-B-SC-1,11-051-B-SC-2; FDIC-11-194bOTS No. 11-040; FHFA No. EAP-11-01)

Noted attorney Philip Kramer, a senior partner at the law firm of Kramer & Kaslow provides insight, “MERS Corp is the owner of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS), one of the cornerstones of the current banking crisis. In order to cut up loans and move the pieces around the world at the speed of electronics again and again and again, until no one is sure who owns what, financial institutions have been using MERS as the “beneficiary”, a legal term which in practical terms means they are entitled to foreclose on behalf of the lender – except MERS is nothing more than an electronic database. They are often named as beneficiary. However in order to legally be named as beneficiary they would have had to put up funds on the loan. Not to mention the fact that the recordation itself is not even official. BUT most importantly, MERS is never a Holder in Due Course.”

Philip Kramer goes on to observe that, “We’re a nation of laws. Everyone knew that MERS didn’t have the right to appear as a beneficiary, but it would have been inconvenient to act on this because MERS was in widespread use throughout the banking industry. It was wrong, wrong, wrong, but everyone was doing it. Just like they were doing ‘no-doc’ loans and other sleights of hand. Just like the banks were doing so many bad things to homeowners. All they wanted to do was increase their profits – no matter who it hurt or how wrong their practices might be.”

The full text of the consent decree can be found at the following URL:

http://www.scribd.com/doc/52972728/MERS-AND-MERSCORP-AGREE-TO-A-CEASE-AND-DESIST-ORDER-OCC-INVOLVED-4-13-2011

ABOUT PHILIP KRAMER
PHILIP A. KRAMER is the senior partner of the Law Office of Kramer & Kaslow, in Calabasas, California. Kramer & Kaslow is Martindale Hubbell “AV” rated. Mr. Kramer is a perennial recipient of the prestigious “Southern California Super Lawyer” award.

Mr. Kramer received his undergraduate degree from Ohio State University and his Juris Doctorate from the Catholic University of America, in Washington, DC. His practice emphasizes commercial litigation and trial advocacy, with a concentration on business litigation, and real property matters. He has prosecuted and defended cases for over twenty five years.

Mr. Kramer is a licensed real estate broker and has spent considerable time providing legal services in connection with real estate issues relating to loan modification and loss mitigation, land use and zoning, environmental issues, easements, construction and development, finance, and landlord tenant matters.

Mr. Kramer is admitted to practice before all courts in the State of California, the United States Supreme Court and the United States Court of Military Appeals. Mr. Kramer has tried in excess of 200 cases. He has appeared on nationally televised programs regarding pre-trial procedure and trial strategy and has appeared as a guest lecturer on topics ranging from constitutional law to trial practice, and Mr. Kramer frequently lectures on a broad spectrum of various legal and business issues.

Mr. Kramer also serves as a Judge Pro Tem for the Los Angeles Superior Court and as a Mediator.

Mr. Kramer is also a past president of the Los Angeles West Inns of Court, a national organization dedicated to bringing professionalism and civility back into the legal profession. He also serves on numerous Boards of Directors and serves as an officer in many companies. For more information call (818) 224-3900 or visit http://kramer-kaslow.com.

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Stuart R. Simone, Esquire
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