Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

July 10, 2013

Assignment Ball and Chain

By David Reiss

An undated Nationwide Title Clearing, Inc. “White Paper” (actually, more of an advertorial), Understanding Current Assignment Verification Practices, is making the rounds of the blogosphere. It opens,

The scrutiny of the completeness of collateral review and valid assignment chains has hit the mortgage industry hard, primarily because the industry went from  a securitization process that didn’t  require assignments to be recorded to a heavily scrutinized process requiring complete chains to be recorded at the county. This has made compliance extremely difficult for many lenders and others, especially because the industry went for so many years without this  level of scrutiny. (1)

I’ll say!

This widespread lack of assignments could have negative consequences under the REMIC Rules. This is particularly a concern if it undercuts claims by purported REMICs that they acquired mortgages within the time required by statute.

I also found this passage intriguing:

just because a loan is supposed to be in MERS doesn’t always mean it is. We’ve found many examples of loans never having been assigned to MERS on land record, as well as loans that have been assigned multiple times out of MERS by prior investors/servicers, I would assume due to a poor review and preparation process . . ..(4-5)

I am not sure how courts would unwind such transactions. But I am sure we will find out . . ..

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