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Associated Press, Published February 15 2013

Ramsey, Hennepin counties sue mortgage registry

ST. PAUL — Prosecutors in Ramsey and Hennepin counties are suing a company that runs a nationwide electronic mortgage registry, saying the company and mortgage lenders deliberately circumvented public tax rolls and failed to pay county fees.

Prosecutors say counties throughout Minnesota have lost significant public dollars.

The lawsuit against Virginia-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Service Inc. was filed on behalf of all Minnesota counties, and seeks class-action status.

Prosecutors want the registry and its members to be ordered to record each mortgage assignment with the proper county — and pay associated fees. The prosecutors say they want to recover the money lost.

Mortgage Electronic Registration Service, or MERS, says in a statement the claims have no merit. It says all MERS mortgages are recorded and fees are paid.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.