The Voice • March 2016
In 2013, the statewide legislation for Connecticut recording statutes were amended to designate a recording fee that is three times higher for mortgages owned by MERS. The amendment did not mention MERS by name, but the newly established higher fee only applies to a “mortgage nominee operating a national electronic database to track residential mortgage loans.”  MERS is the only mortgage company to operate on such a level so they are the only organization to be affected by the new legislation. The recording fee for a mortgage deed if MERS is a party to the transaction will be $159 for the first page and $5 for each additional page. The cost for non-MERS mortgage deeds will be $53 for the first page and $5 for each additional page.
In turn, MERS sued the state of Connecticut claiming that the new recording statutes were violating rights on constitutional grounds. The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled against all the claims made by MERS, allowing for the statutes to remain in place. The Court also felt that increasing the filing fees would be a legitimate way for the public to recoup “lost” revenue that is a direct result of MERS’ business model.  While this is the first instance of a state designating a fee specifically pointed to MERS, others may soon follow suit.