“Two landmark developments on August 16 give momentum to the growing interest of cities and counties in addressing the mortgage mess using eminent domain:
- The Washington State Supreme Court held in Bain v. MERS, et al., that an electronic database called Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems (MERS) is not a “beneficiary” entitled to foreclose under a deed of trust; and
- San Bernardino County, California, passed a resolution to consider plans to use eminent domain to address the glut of underwater borrowers by purchasing and refinancing their loans.
“MERS is the electronic smokescreen that allowed banks to build their securitization Ponzi scheme without worrying about details like ownership and chain of title. According to property law attorney Neil Garfield, properties were sold to multiple investors or conveyed to empty trusts, subprime securities were endorsed as triple A and banks earned up to 40 times what they could earn on a paying loan, using credit default swaps in which they bet the loan would go into default. As the dust settles from the collapse of the scheme, homeowners are left with underwater mortgages with no legitimate owners to negotiate with. The solution now being considered is for municipalities to simply take ownership of the mortgages through eminent domain. This would allow them to clear title and start fresh, along with some other lucrative dividends. …”