Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

January 7, 2013

Oregon District Court Holds that MERS Must Record Every Assignment of Trust Deed to Lawfully Conduct a Non-Judicial Foreclosure

By Michael Liptrot

The District Court of Oregon in Hooker v Northwest Trustee Services, Inc., 2011 WL 2119103 (D.Or. May 25, 2011) granted homeowners’ motion for declaratory judgment preventing MERS from continuing with a non-judicial foreclosure proceeding. The court first held that MERS could only be a nominee or agent of a lender, and not have a beneficial interest in the trust deed, where MERS was not listed as the beneficiary on the note. However, the court did not hold that this precluded MERS from lawfully initiating a non-judicial foreclosure. The problem in this case was that MERS only recorded the final assignment of the trust deed, instead of recording every assignment as required by law. In failing to record every assignment of the trust deed in this case, the court found that MERS could not lawfully conduct a non-judicial foreclosure.

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