October 13, 2011

Bernstein Liebhard LLP, with David P. Joyce, Prosecuting Attorney for Geauga County, Ohio, announced today that a lawsuit has been filed in the Geauga County Court of Common Pleas by Plaintiff Geauga County, on behalf of itself and all other Ohio counties, (the “Class”) against MERSCORP, Inc., Mortgage Electronic Registration System, Inc. (“MERS”), and MERS’s members (collectively, “Defendants”).

In the class action complaint, Plaintiff Geauga County, on behalf of itself and all other Ohio counties, alleges violations of Ohio state law arising from Defendants’ failure to record intermediate mortgage assignments in, and pay the attendant county recording fees to, Ohio county recording offices. In failing to record, Defendants systematically broke chains of title throughout Ohio counties’ public land records by creating “gaps” due to missing mortgage assignments they failed to record, or by recording patently false and/or misleading mortgage assignments. Defendants’ purposeful failure to record has eviscerated the accuracy of Ohio counties’ public land records, rendering them unreliable and unverifiable — damage to public land records that may never be entirely remedied.

As a result, the Class seeks declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as damages, to remedy Defendants’ persistent, and purposeful, failure to comply with Ohio’s legal requirement to record mortgage assignments in the proper county recording office. In doing so, Defendants avoided paying the attendant county recording fees as required by Ohio state law. Ohio’s recording laws have been in place for nearly 200 years.

The case is captioned State of Ohio, ex rel. David P. Joyce Prosecuting Attorney of Geauga County, Ohio v. MERSCORP, Inc., et al., No. 11-M-001087. For more information, please contact either Stanley D. Bernstein at (212) 779-1414, bernstein@bernlieb.com or Christian Siebott at (212) 779-1414, siebott@bernlieb.com.

Bernstein Liebhard LLP has pursued hundreds of complex litigations and has recovered almost $3 billion for its clients. It has been named to The National Law Journal’s “Plaintiffs’ Hot List” in each of the last nine years.