Homeowners have found leverage against foreclosures in the questionable legality of MERS, the Mortgage Electronic Registration System. That won’t do. Banks want homeowners to feel helpless. People who know how to enforce their legal rights aren’t helpless enough. So, banks are telling Congress to stomp on the legal rights of human persons and States and Counties. They are spending millions lobbying Congress to pass a statute legalizing MERS retroactively, sanctioning the abuses it has perpetrated against the property laws of the fifty states. The Washington Post reports it this way:
The companies have opened wide their wallets for lobbying and are flying top executives to Washington for one-on-one meetings with lawmakers. They are holding briefings for key staffers, including an event last week that drew more than 60 aides. And they are blanketing Congress with white papers, memos and other documents that lay out their arguments.
Who are these aides, and who are their Senators and Representatives? The Post doesn’t say. You can bet these aides got a fair and balanced presentation from the lobbyists who suddenly are the only available experts on securitization and the real property laws of every State. And you can bet these 60 people don’t attend briefings from Elizabeth Warren or Adam Levitin. How can such people give them lovely jobs in a few years?
The Post doesn’t explain the legislative procedure for tucking the MERS Whitewash bill into some statute without identifying the miserable excuse for a human person who would do such a thing to please his Corporate Person masters.
You’d think the human persons who screwed up this badly would be a tiny bit embarrassed, but that is not how things work in the nation’s capital. . . . [cont’d.] Here’s R.K. Arnold, the head of Merscorp, which owns MERS:
The MERS database “is a powerful tool that can be harnessed by the Congress and the industry to improve the mortgage finance system,” R.K. Arnold, Merscorp chief executive, told members of the Senate banking committee this week.
This is repulsive. Arnold admits his system was created to skirt centuries-old state laws. He knows that the entire system of securitized mortgages is fouled up and may cause enormous losses to investors in RMBSs, like pension plans and mutual funds and your Church and college endowments. MERS brags that its system cost states and counties at least a billion dollars in unpaid recording fees, and suits have been filed to recover those losses.
No problem. Mr. Arnold instructs a respectful panel of Congressionals: clean up after us, make us retroactively legal and stop those pesky law and order types from suing us. And by the way, privatize a perfectly functional system, and funnel that money into private hands instead of states and cities and counties.
This is one of those ugly parts of the American system that leave a taste of vomit. Secret laws, secret sponsors, secret aides, secrets everywhere, and damage to human persons to protect the wallets of Corporate Persons and their Human Overlords.
But, as DDay points out, it was nice of Washington Post reporters Ariana Eunjun Cha and Brady Dennis to provide the point of view of the Banks.