USFN “MERS Enters into Pilot Project re Vacant Property Registration”
MERS Enters into Pilot Project re Vacant Property Registration
by Randall Bueter; Wilson & Associates, PLLC – USFN Member (AR,TN);
Robert Klein, CEO; Safeguard Properties, LLC – USFN Associate Member;?
and Douglas Licker, Mortgage Contracting Services, LLC – USFN Associate Member
On the heels of the foreclosure boom have come a vast and rising number of vacant properties. Municipalities throughout the country are enacting new ordinances, or enforcing existing ones, requiring the registration of vacant properties. Vacant property registration (VPR) ordinances require owners of properties that have become vacant or abandoned for a certain length of time to register formally with the local government. These VPR ordinances are as varied as the municipalities enacting them, but they all have the common goal of protecting their communities from a blight of neglected houses. Cities are challenged with determining a manner in which to make contact with property owners or mortgage servicers who control the destiny of the property, while servicers are frustrated by fines that show up in the title work just prior to an REO closing.?
As a result of a cooperative effort of the MBA, several national servicers, and MERS, MERS is offering a solution to bring the parties together. MERS is making its database available in a pilot program enlisting Boston, Massachusetts; Chula Vista and Stockton, California; St. Paul, Minnesota; and St. Louis County, Missouri. Property preservation companies are being added along with the servicer, and the cities are being allowed free access to the system. MERS iRegistration provides servicers with a cost-effective additional option to utilize the MERS system strictly for this initiative.? Some of the cities involved are waiving “hard copy” registration and fees for those that are posting their information with MERS.
This program offers a great deal of promise in achieving the goal of protecting communities. Experience has shown that when the cities and servicers communicate, both sides win. This program provides the vehicle to make that happen.?For more information about MERS, see http://mersinc.org/.
Editor’s Note: A VPR article?appeared in the Sept. ’08 USFN e-Update, containing a link to a VPR Matrix and soliciting readers’ assistance in keeping the matrix current.