Michigan Supreme Court May Entertain Appeal of MERS Decision

The Michigan Supreme Court may weigh in on the question of whether Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS”) can use the foreclosure by advertisement statute. The Michigan Court of Appeals ruled in Residential Funding Co, Inc. v Saurman, — NW2d —, 2011 WL 1516819 (Mich. App. April 21, 2011), that MERS could not utilize the foreclosure by advertisement statute when it did not own the underlying note. The Michigan Supreme Court has granted a request to expedite it’s consideration of whether it will exercise its discretion and allow an appeal of the Saurman decision.

The Court intends to holds oral argument on this request during the November 2011 session. The Court has specifically asked the parties to address the issue of whether MERS should be considered an owner of an interest in the indebtedness secured by a mortgage such that it should be permitted to foreclose by advertisement.

The Court is allowing the submittal of amicus curiae briefs from a variety of organizations. An amicus curiae brief is filed with the Court by someone who is not a party to the case but who believes that the court’s action may affect its interests. Organizations granted permission by the Court to file amicus curiae briefs include the Michigan Association of Realtors, the State Bar of Michigan Consumer Law and Real Property Law Sections, the Michigan Bankers Association and the Michigan Mortgage Lenders Association.