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The MERS Chameleon – Part 1 Look Up Your Mortgage

If at any time since the year 2000, you purchased an American home financed with a mortgage, you most likely will have a MERS(Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems) or MOM(MERS as Mortgagee) Mortgage. If you are in South Florida, you can look up mortgages online on the following County Official Records websites:

Palm Beach County 

Broward County

Miami-Dade

Now, look at the mortgage for references to MERS or Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems.  Also, look for an eighteen digit MERS MIN number often on the mid right side of the first page of the mortgage.  Some mortgages were not originally infected with MERS but later were assigned a MERS ID and put into the MERS system.  Those homeowners may see an affidavit that has a title like Mortgagee’s Affidavit of Designating Mortgage Identification Number.  These affidavits are also recorded on properties where the MERS MIN was changed at some point.

To look up additional information, look up the MERS MIN here.  The mortgage’s servicer information is searchable to anyone who inputs the MERS MIN, but to see the investor’s name in the cases the investor has agreed to disclose their identity, the mortgage holder’s social security number is required.  The requirement for providing the social security number is new as of the middle of 2011 after years of foreclosure fraud whistle-blowers exposing the inaccuracies of the MERS database and publishing their findings on Internet blogs.

Print out the information from the MERS MIN lookup and save it for your records with the date of the lookup. The information is often in conflict with foreclosure court documents or even the name of the bank that is trying to foreclose on a family’s home.

There are also look up tools to check if your mortgage is a Fannie (here and FAQ here) or a Freddie (here) mortgage.  These look-up tools require the last four of your social security number and the address of the mortgaged home.

Stay tuned for upcoming post What exactly is MERS?  Does anyone, including MERS, know? 

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