By Erin Regan
This past Monday was an expensive one in Connecticut. As of July 15, 2013 Connecticut doubled its fees for documents that have a “nominee of a mortgagee;” which as currently defined only includes MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registering System*). Moving forward MERS recording fees will increase from $53 to record the first page of a mortgage to $116, as well as add a $40 recording surcharge and a $3 historical records fee. The expense to record additional pages will remain $5. These fees are split by both the State and Town and are required to be paid to the Town Clerk immediately at time of recording.
A lawsuit has been filed by MERS against the State of Connecticut due to the new land record fees, seeking to overturn the law and in the meantime postpone the effective date with a temporary injunction. Unfortunately, Judge Antonio Robaina of the Hartford District Superior Court denied the injunction request this past Friday and the fees took effect as scheduled. On the bright side, MERS’ overall lawsuit seeking to overturn the law will move forward.
What is MERS?*
MERS is a national electronic database, the purpose of which is to simplify the mortgage process. MERS acts as the mortgagee in county land records for lenders and servicers. This allows mortgages that record MERS as the mortgagee to be transferred from one lender to the next without the need for assignments and expense of recording paper.