Fannie: Don’t Name MERS in Foreclosure Actions

April 15, 2010

Effective with foreclosures referred on or after May 1, 2010, MERS must not be named as a plaintiff in any foreclosure action, whether judicial or non-judicial, on a mortgage loan owned or securitized by Fannie Mae.

MERS is the mortgagee of record when either a mortgage names MERS as the original mortgagee and is recorded in the applicable land records, or a completed and recorded assignment names MERS as the mortgage assignee. Therefore, according to Announcement SVC-2010-05, when MERS is the mortgagee of record, the servicer must prepare a mortgage assignment from MERS to the servicer, and then bring the foreclosure in its own name, unless Fannie Mae specifically requires that the foreclosure be brought in the name of Fannie Mae. In that event, the assignment must be from MERS to Fannie Mae, in care of the servicer at the servicer's address for receipt of notices. In all cases, the assignment from MERS to the servicer or Fannie Mae must be recorded before the foreclosure begins.

Fannie Mae will not reimburse the servicer for any expense incurred in preparing or recording an assignment of the mortgage loan from MERS to the servicer or to Fannie Mae.

If an assignment has been recorded from MERS to either the servicer or Fannie Mae and the borrower reinstates the mortgage loan prior to completion of the foreclosure proceedings, the servicer need not re-assign the mortgage to MERS and re-register the mortgage with MERS. Re-assigning and re-registering the mortgage with MERS is not required by Fannie Mae and any such action will be at the discretion and expense of the servicer.

The servicer should consult its foreclosure attorney to determine if any other legal requirements apply when conducting foreclosures of mortgage loans in which MERS is the prior mortgagee of record.

Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or [email protected].