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United States : CHESCO sues large banks to recover $10 million in fees.

The Chester County Recorder of Deeds filed a lawsuit suit against many of the country's biggest banks and other participants in the residential mortgage industry.

The lawsuit wants to recover millions of dollars in recording fees for mortgage assignments the banks failed to record in the county s public land records.

Richard T. Loughery, Chester County Recorder of Deeds estimates that $10 million in recording fees may be due from the banks.

The suit, filed October 10, 2014 in Chester County Common Pleas Court, names Bank of New York Mellon, Citibank, JP Morgan Chase Bank, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo Bank, among others, as defendants.

The complaint asserts that the defendants conspired to circumvent the County s Recorder of Deeds Office and avoid paying recording fees by making a private electronic registry system known as MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) to track mortgage assignments.

Loughery said, This practice violates the Commonwealth s recording laws and has caused gaps, omissions and inaccuracies to appear in the county s land records which undermine the integrity of our public land recording system. For hundreds of years the citizens of Chester County have relied on the accuracy and completeness of our records to verify title to properties, trace ownership of land, and know who holds the mortgages on their properties. Because of the banks use of MERS, property owners are no longer able to verify the true identity of the holders of their mortgages because thousands if not tens of thousands of mortgage assignments have not been publicly recorded and do not appear in our records. As bad as the damage defendants have caused to the integrity of our public land recording system, their failure to pay required recording fees has also hurt the county by depriving it of much- needed revenue to fund essential county services.

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Publication:Mena Report
Date:Oct 25, 2014
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