- 3 -of the Defendants created called the “Mortgage Electronic Registration System” (MERS).Through MERS, Defendants effectively privatized the public property recording systemand disrupted Guilford County’s responsibility to maintain a reliable public registry of land records, as well as citizens’ fundamental right to determine through public searcheswho holds interests in property.4.
Defendants’ systematic schemes have confused, misled, and deceived theRegister of Deeds, as well as borrowers, homeowners, and other citizens who rely on thevalidity of publicly filed property records.5.
Defendants’ misdeeds in connection with their securitization of billions of dollars of mortgages have been the subject of numerous investigations, state AttorneysGeneral lawsuits, court findings of fact, and consent orders. Recently, five Defendantsagreed, collectively, to pay to the U.S. Treasury a total of approximately $5 billion incivil penalties for their mortgage documentation and foreclosure-related misconduct.These monetary fines and other civil and criminal actions against Defendants do not,however, repair the voluminous number of invalid documents Defendants filed with theGuilford County Register of Deeds. The Register of Deeds brings this lawsuitrequesting that Defendants be required to file valid mortgage and property documents sothat chains of title are not improperly broken or diluted, and so the Register of Deeds andthe public can rely upon the land records maintained by the Register of Deeds.
Guilford County (the “County”) is a body politic and corporate, and is acounty of the State of North Carolina. Jeff L. Thigpen is the duly elected Register of Deeds of Guilford County. The Guilford County Board of Commissioners is duly elected