MERS, which stands for Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, was developed by a number of notable entities within the mortgage banking industry (Government Sponsored Enterprises [GSE], along with notable originators and loan servicers) for helping create a more transparent and efficient mortgage process by heavily relying on technology and many of today's emerging automated tasks. Specifically, the actual MERS® system tracks critical mortgage loan information via a unique 18-digit Mortgage Identification Number, known as a MIN, that is essentially registered on the MERS system itself.
NDB, a nationally recognized boutique CPA firm, provides MERS consulting, compliance, and audit services.
MERS Registry and Notable Entities that Must Be Compliant
Additionally, MERS is a privately held entity that runs the registry responsible for tracking critical aspects of a mortgage, such as who owns and services them. Additionally, MERS is actually owned by holding company MERSCORP, Inc. Currently, the MERS system is the only true nationwide database that provides free information on the tracking and servicing of mortgages, along with other essential information. And because the adoption of MERS has been and continues to be widespread - within the mortgage banking industry - the following entities must ensure that a number of policies, procedures and processes are in place with regards to the MERS guidelines:
• Mortgage originators
• Warehouse lenders
• Wholesale lenders
• Retail lenders
• Document custodians
• Settlement agents
• Title companies
• County recorders
Thus, according to MERS, "...it acts as a mortgagee in the county land records for the lender and servicer. Therefore, any loan, for where MERS is the mortgagee and registered on the MERS® System, is inoculated against future assignments because MERS remains the mortgagee no matter how many times servicing is traded."
If your organization is seeking consulting or auditing services relating to MERS compliance, then talk to the experts at NDB, a nationally recognized PCAOB CPA firm specializing in regulatory compliance, with specialty services for the real estate finance | mortgage industry. Along with providing services such as Regulation AB, USAP, and others, NDB also specializes in MERS compliance. Our MERS audits and auditor services have been built upon years of experience in one of the most regulated industries in the country.
It is also interesting to note that there's been a fair amount of criticism placed on MERS; however, much of that is attributed to misconceptions about the role and responsibilities of the MERS system that is responsible for tracking critical aspects of a mortgage.
Other notable features worth mentioning about MERS include the following:
• Developed using open, non-propriety standards and technology
• Incorporated into virtually every aspect of the mortgage industry’s loan origination, servicing, and loan delivery software.
• Most of the notable organizations within the residential mortgage finance industry is an active member of MERS - thus electronically connected to the MERS system itself.
• Since 1997, over 60 million home loans have been assigned a MIN and registered on the MERS registry.
• A large percentage of all newly originated mortgage loans, including those from notable GSE's, and other affiliated entities, have a MIN.
NDB. Your MERS consulting, compliance, and audit specialists. NDB also provides compliance services for USAP and Regulation AB, Item 1122.