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Counties in Texas, Kentucky sue lenders for failing to pay title transfer fees

Michigan is no longer alone in suing lenders and banks for failing to pay title transfer fees, as two counties in two other states have now filed similar lawsuits. Dallas County, Texas and Christian County, Kentucky have now filed lawsuits similar to suits filed by Curtis Hertel, Jr., the Ingham County Register of Deeds, and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Miesner.

Jul 31, 2020
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Michigan is no longer alone in suing lenders and banks for failing to pay title transfer fees, as two counties in two other states have now filed similar lawsuits.
Dallas County, Texas and Christian County, Kentucky have now filed lawsuits similar to suitsfiled by Curtis Hertel, Jr., the Ingham County Register of Deeds, and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Miesner. The news comesfrom Bloomberg.
The county said that through MERS, notes and mortgages are being “sold, assigned or transferred” without being recorded in county deed records. The defendants “misrepresented the true beneficial owner of notes and related mortgages filed by them in Dallas County, Texas, for the purpose of avoiding the recordation of subsequent transfer and payment of attendant filing fees.”
Watkins, 43, is seeking reimbursement for fees lost, punitive damages and a judgment of $10,000 a violation.
He asked the court to find that a violation of the Texas code occurred each time MERS was identified as a mortgagee or beneficiary under a deed of trust when it had no interest in the note secured by that deed. According to the complaint, MERS was the “grantee” in 157,319 records in Dallas as of Sept. 11.
The lawsuit also seeks a court order preventing the defendants from filing anything in deed records that identified MERS or anyone as a beneficiary who doesn’t have an interest in the secured note. The county said Bank of America “knew or should have known” the MERS system would cause improper filing.
The case in Kentucky was filed in April.
The Kentucky suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages and an injunction ordering defendants “to immediately cease the practice of nonrecording of assignments of mortgages.”
In Michigan, Ingham and Oakland county have taken two separate routes in their suits. Hertel has sued in Ingham County Circuit Court, while Miesner filed suit in federal court. Miesner’s suit is against only Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, while Hertel’s suitincludes Bank of America and Wells Fargo as defendants, as well as foreclosure firms Trott and Trott and Orlans.
These lawsuits are only the first in a series of suits being filed against lenders, banks and MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Service). Earlier this month, the feds filed suitagainst banks and others for the bundling and sales of toxic mortgage assets.
Camilo Wood

Camilo Wood

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