Guilford County Registry of Deeds v. Lender Processing Services, et. al., from Guilford County’s Response to Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss:
Defendants filed thousands of mortgage documents with the Guilford County Register of Deeds containing: (1) flagrantly forged signatures, (2) illegal notarizations, and (3) perjured and other false statements of fact. Defendants may attempt to disagree with this assertion, but in considering a motion to dismiss, the Court must take all allegations as true. Mangum v. Raleigh Bd. of Adjustment, 362 N.C. 640, 644, 669 S.E.2d 279, 283 (2008).
Defendants committed these acts through two practices: First, Defendants hired people to forge bank officers’ signatures in an assembly line fashion, disregarding all laws and regulations concerning the execution of documents and affidavits and the conduct of notaries public.
Second, Defendants assign (or participated in the assignment of) mortgages to an inherently unreliable private registry run by Defendant Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (“MERS, Inc.” when referring the business entity and “MERS” when referring to the private
registry), lose track of the note owner, and then have MERS, Inc. file a satisfaction of mortgage at the end of the process. In filing this satisfaction, MERS, Inc. has no idea whether or not the
mortgage has been satisfied because MERS, Inc. admittedly does not own or service the note.
Further, MERS, Inc.’s satisfaction is accomplished through forgery, illegitimate notarizations, perjury, and other false statements. Importantly, however, the Complaint does not depend on
whether MERS, Inc.’s registry is legal or illegal. Irrespective of whether the registry is illegitimate, the MERS Defendants filed false documents with the Register of Deeds. The allegations regarding MERS, Inc.’s inherently unreliable system simply show that the MERS Defendants cannot possibly know whether anything they state regarding the mortgage is true.
As a result, Defendants have created a mess in the public land records of Guilford County. The Register of Deeds, who sought to create a model registry, now presides over a registry containing thousands of forged, false, and fabricated documents. The budget for the Register of Deeds does not provide the resources needed to clean up the mess or prevent further violations by Defendants, which continue to the present. This not only destroys the integrity of Guilford County’s public records, but also exposes the Register of Deeds individually to potential civil and criminal penalties and removal from office.
Defendants take the position that they can commit perjury, violate notary laws, and forge signatures with impunity, for they are seeking to tell this Court that the governmental body charged with maintaining a reliable, honest registry has no right to redress this assault on its fundamental duty. The unstated but unavoidable premise to their argument is they can file true records or they can file false records, and it does not matter which because nothing can be done about it. Their position, however, is contradicted by the Complaint, the law, and thousands of years of human history, which tells us that the integrity of public records is of vital importance and that it is the County itself that suffers when those public records are fabricated.