The Associated Press reports that St. Clair County State's Attorney Brendan Kelly has charged nearly two-dozen national and local lenders with fraud and deceit by not filing documents with the county's recorder of deeds. Kelly says that the lenders' use of MERS blocked the public from seeing the purchase and sale of residential properties that were previously available in the public records system.
‘The system set up by MERS allows financial institutions to avoid transparency in [the] transfer of property and to evade county recording fees which every other citizen has to pay,’ says Kelly. ‘We simply want these institutions to follow the law.’
Kelly adds that the use of MERS also enabled the tens of thousands of transfers of title to occur without having the proper documentation in place.
MERS did not publicly comment on the lawsuit.