This is linked to approximately 3,524 local government real estate recording, judicial, and taxing jurisdictions nationwide and is singularly responsible for the Nation’s citizenry (homeowners) who loss of a cumulative $16 trillion in wealth during the 2007-2008 global financial crisis and the 2010 foreclosure crisis. MERS purportedly is the mortgagee in the local government’s public land records and is an agent for the lender and subsequent buyers of the paper-based or electronic note (promissory note).
The MERS® System purportedly tracks beneficial ownership interests and servicing rights associated with residential mortgage loans and any changes in those interests or rights. There are approximately 5,000 participating members, of which 3,000 are residential mortgage services, and nearly 2,000 are either US Federal government entities or are under the jurisdiction of the US, e.g., Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Secret Service, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (commonly known as Freddie Mac), Federal National Mortgage Association (commonly known as Fannie Mae), Bank of America, National Association, Ellie Mae, Federal Housing Finance Agency, HUD FHA, HUD OIG-Investigations, for example. Members originate and register mortgage loans and report transfers, foreclosures, and other changes to the status of residential mortgage loans on the MERS® System. There are currently 31 million publicly active residential mortgage loans registered on the MERS® System. 77% of all US residential mortgage loans are originated and held in the name of MERS.
According to a real estate information company and an online marketplace for foreclosed and defaulted properties in the US, the collapse of the housing market during the US 2007-2008 global financial and the 2010 foreclosure crisis displaced approximately 10 million consumer taxpayers and led to mass foreclosures. In 2008 alone, the MERS® System was the root cause for about 3.1 million fraudulent foreclosure filings against consumer taxpayers, which at the time was one in every 54 homes.
In 2008, Burnett, a disabled veteran and former enlisted master chief petty officer of the US Armed Forces (US Navy), experienced an aggravated tax-related fraud and identity theft event. His legal identity, Personally Identifiable Information (PII), and other private and sensitive data were compromised by third-party financial institutions of the member-based MERS® System, fraudulently originated and registered in at least two residential purchase-money mortgage loans.