Harbinger Analytics Group v2 05/12/11
It has been widely reported that MERS
has broken or severely diluted
the chain of titlefor real property records, but what does this mean? To understand the importance of the chain of title to a property and the complexities of land boundaries we need to look no further than theadvice given to practicing attorneys.
“To properly evaluate a case, counsel and survey experts often must examine chains of
title for all properties subject to the dispute. In the case of a boundary dispute, it may benecessary to search the chain of title back to a patent to determine paramount title or to
locate true boundaries.”
As is readily apparent, a broken chain of title will have adverse effects on adjoiningproperties and in many instances the boundaries of properties within an entire neighborhood.Attorneys are
advised to “
seriously consider not taking the case or withdrawing from it.
attorneys are advised to “seriously consider” withdrawing, h
ow will the common victim of MERS (by proxy) get relief?The complexity of the problem is obvious. As lenders and title insurers passresponsibility back and forth, property owners who purchased a foreclosed property that hadbeen in the MERS system (and now have broken chains of title) and their neighbors will beforced into expensive and complex litigation in order to determine their boundaries.
Who will be financially responsible for the litigation to quiet title?This White Paper documents the importance of a chain of title and thefar reaching effects of a lost chain of title.
When referencing MERS in this report, the author refers to MERSCORP, Inc. and its 5000 plus members and theMortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (a subsidiary of MERSCORP, Inc.).
The terms broken and diluted a
re used interchangeably in this White Paper. Chains of title are “diluted” when the
historical indexing systems and proper public recordings are not utilized (along with back dating and forging of legaldocuments , ie. robo-signing) making a chain of title impractical to recreate.
Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB),
California Easements and Boundaries, Law and Litigation
(July 2010) §§10,11, 10.32, pgs. 471-472, 489-
490. According to the Checklist: Dos and Don’ts in Boundary Location Dispute
contained in this treatise, attorneys are advised to:
Remind clients that boundary location disputes are usually expensive to litigate (a client willsometimes fight to the last dollar).
Do not enter an appearance in any boundary litigation unless counsel is confident about handlingboth the emotional and legal issues.
If there is continued doubt about the boundary location, research, read, and review again; usuallythe answer is buried somewhere [in the chain of title].
If enormous doubt persists on location or validity of the boundary, seriously consider not takingthe case or withdrawing from it.See
for a complete list.