Editor: David Reiss
Brooklyn Law School

September 3, 2013

U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona Found the Mere Use of MERS Nid Not Constitute Common Law Fraud

By Ebube Okoli

The U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, in Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., et al., No. 09-cv-00517 (D.Ariz. 2009), dismissed all state and federal claims brought by all three of the borrowers. The borrowers filed a complaint against MERS as well as a group of other defendants

After considering the borrowers’ arguments, the court found the mere use of MERS did not constitute common law fraud on the borrowers. The court found that the plaintiffs had failed to allege what effect, if any, listing the MERS system as a ‘sham’ beneficiary on the deed of trust had upon their obligations as borrowers.

Subsequently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the trial court’s judgment in favor of MERS. Accordingly, the Court held that a borrower lacked the basis to challenge the standing of an entity such as MERS. Further, the court, however, drew attention to a legal reference that such a borrower still had legal recourse by bringing an action to have the trustee’s sale set aside.

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