(BREAKING NEWS — OP-ED) —
It’s official and still under investigation (by me) … but the reasons that the author of this blog post wrote the book Clouded Titles goes to the very core of an argument I made ages ago, siding with various law professors and legal minds in the world of foreclosure defense: MERS cannot be trusted to be a reliable source for the truth!
Now it has been announced by multiple news pieces within the financial sector that Intercontinental Exchange, Inc. (“ICE”) has announced that it has acquired ALL of MERSCORP Holdings, Inc.’s assets, namely, the MERS® System and everything that goes with it.
ICE also announced that it has moved all of the MERS® System’s operations to its data center in Mahwah, New Jersey. ICE acquired the New York Stock Exchange in November of 2013.
You’re probably all wondering why this happened. In one short statement, ICE claims that the addition of MERS will help ICE “serve its customers better as the U.S. mortgage industry is gradually shifting to more digital mortgages and electronic notes from a paper-based process.”
WARNING — There’s a signpost ahead. It says you’re about to enter “The Twilight Zone”!
There are some serious repercussions with this acquisition. I spoke with California attorney Al West yesterday about this acquisition. Here are some of the components to consider:
(1) There is a movement afoot to privatize the entire land record system and take it away from the state-sponsored, state-sanctioned, state-mandated public databases and archives!
Since this country was founded, our Framers gave the States certain rights to govern their own affairs, one of which was to establish land recording systems. The purpose of this was to establish who owned what parcels of land. Each state legislature voted on setting up these archival databases, which in of themselves, have evolved into (at least many of them) digital centers of database retrieval. While it is certainly convenient to go online and search out your chain of title, taking all of this and putting it into ledger technology that is decentralized (“blockchain”) is dangerous because ANY system (over time) can be hacked and tampered with.
(2) The fact that there was even a mention of moving towards “digital mortgage” means that the possibilities do exist that you can easily get a mortgage loan from your smartphone or your home computer, all with the push of a button that applies your “digital signature” through your IP address. How convenient for the mortgage banking industry and MERS! Isn’t that wonderful? NOT! NOT! NOT!
Part of the problem that precipitated the 2008 financial collapse was easing up on credit restrictions. Credit was available everywhere (as long as you “could fog up a mirror”). History repeats itself and those who are ignorant of it are doomed to repeat it. For starters, even though taking out one of these “digital mortgage loans” may supply you with a copy of what you signed … (a.) digital signatures are NOT your actual signatures; (b.) the digital signature you picked will be present on the “copy” of the mortgage paperwork you received; (c.) in all likelihood, your IP address from your computer or digital technology relative to your smartphone will be stored for retrieval in case you default on your loan and then that technology will be used against you for sure; (d.) all of this technology will be registered within the MERS® System now that ICE owns it lock, stock and server. You can bet the obfuscation towards consumers will be just as prevalent, if not greater, as it has been in the past; and (e.) because the increased use of MERS will be tolerated, you can bet more foolish investors will keep buying into the thought that securitization is a great way to make money. As history has shown us, even with its lingering effects, a lot of investors lost money while the sponsor-sellers made off (Madoff) like bandits!
(3) With “digital” technology, there are no “originals”!
That means no original “note”, no original “mortgage”, no original SQUAT! And ICE will keep the disclaimers on the “MERS” website it now owns, making sure things are just as “fuzzy” for everyone but “investors” and actual subscribers of the MERS® System. It is unknown at this time WHO will actually entertain the previously-referenced “executory contract” now that MERSCORP Holdings, Inc. appears to have sold off all interest in its patented process (or so we might think). Verifiability will shrink making it harder to defend mortgage foreclosure actions.
(4) The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s role in determining MERS® System violations is undetermined!
Given what we know about lax prosecutions in the revolving door business known as the “SEC”, it is hard to ascertain at this time what we’re dealing with as to potential non-disclosure violations or other liabilities first assessed against the MERS business model.
(5) Even more serious … using any digital technology puts you at risk of identity theft!
Look … if hackers can get into the Equifax database … put your thinking cap on before you fill out an online mortgage loan application!
WARNING TO THE JUDICIARY! — You … as a judge … may play into “the system of things” in an adverse way!
Because the same parent company to the NYSE owns MERSCORP’s “MERS® System”, all state and federal judges holding any NYSE-traded shares may have a conflict of interest!
It is seriously important to recognize, as Al West pointed out to me yesterday in our phone conversation, that any judge having any stock in the NYSE, now that MERS is a directly-linked, wholly-owned subsidiary, may represent a conflict of interest if that judge’s portfolio contains any NYSE-traded stock, which could be stock in any financial institution or any loan with MERS in it that is connected in any way to an NYSE stock, which could be cause to have the judge recused from your foreclosure case!
Further, my radio co-host (on WKDW-FM’s City Spotlight-Special Edition), R. J. Malloy, also intimated that in Florida, all of the senior judges presiding over foreclosure dockets could also be at risk of being recused based on similar conflicts of interest because their pension funds are vested in these types of stocks, bonds, securities, etc. Not good!
If the judge is called upon to recuse himself from a case because he holds stock in the NYSE, which is connected to MERS, or has a pension vested with anything related to either, and fails to recuse himself, it could trigger an attack on the judges bond for a multitude of behaviors, including non-disclosure, which if played out to its distinct finality, could represent an ethical violation for which he could be permanently removed from the bench. This would include federal judges (who, for the most part, have their finances laid bare at Judicial Watch!) who end up getting cases that have been removed by foreclosure mill attorneys who think they can get a 12(b)(6) out of the federal districts.
Besides clogging up the judicial system throughout the United States, all of the U. S. counties that employ judges that are even remotely “attached” to “the system of things” are at risk of having their treasuries plundered because most U.S. counties are self-insured.
For one minute, I do not believe that any of the people involved in the acquisition of the MERS® System even thought about the repercussions of having MERS connected to the NYSE!
If you thought that the idea of shredding documents was an option, with digital technology, there won’t be any originals to shred … and loan mods will probably be done online … reviewed online … and denied online. Information gathering technologies will put all of your personal identifying information at risk, because ALL systems at some point, can be hacked. That furthers your risk for identity theft if you “play the digital game”! Be forewarned! Things are about to get dicey!