It appears that Louisiana has had enough with MERS and avoidance of recording fees.
As I have repeatedly pointed out (along with others) MERS is basically a scheme to avoid county recording fees for mortgages through the dubious claim that one can “bifurcate” a mortgage and note when it suits the banks to make trading the debt easy, but then can “recombine” them when it’s convenient to foreclose.
The problem with this premise is that there’s long-standing law that a mortgage without the note is nothing, as the debt is required to provide a reason to have a mortgage interest in the first place. State law generally requires that an unrecorded interest in real estate does not exist for legal purposes. That is, as with respect to third parties who look to these records for proper notice if there is no recording then there is no effect on those third parties and their rights under the law.
Land title is one of the primary predicates of private property ownership in America and has been since before there was an America. MERS and the banks have made a mockery of this process, and thus far have largely gotten away with it.
Louisiana has (finally) stepped up and said “NUTS!”, suing under RICO, alleging as the predicates wire and mail fraud and a scheme intended to defraud the parishes out of their lawfully-levied and owed recording fees.
This is one to watch folks, as RICO suits carry treble damages.
h/t: Matt Weidner’s blog