Peter Nickles, the attorney general for the District of Columbia, has issued a statement clarifying that a foreclosure may not be commenced against a D.C. homeowner unless the security interest of the current noteholder is supported by public filings with the District's recorder of deeds.
Under District law, each deed or other document transferring a mortgage interest must be recorded with the recorder of deeds within 30 days of execution. This requirement is not satisfied by private tracking of mortgage interests through the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. (MERS), Nickles' office said in the statement.
‘A homeowner should not be misled into believing that a threatened foreclosure is supported by the District's public records when it is not,’ Nickles said.
In a response to Nickles' statement of enforcement, MERS maintains that its processes are in compliance with D.C. law. If, prior to foreclosure, the security interest is transferred from MERS to another entity, then MERS will execute an assignment showing the transfer. The assignment is subsequently recorded under D.C.'s laws, MERS says.
When MERS forecloses, MERS is listed in the land records as the security interest holder, the company adds.
‘Under either option, in compliance with D.C.'s laws, the notice of foreclosure sale represents to the homeowner the identity of the note holder and that the note holder's security interest has been recorded,’ MERS said in its statement.