Residential Real Estate Title and Financing in Oregon; Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. “Mers”

On June 6, 2013 the Oregon Supreme Court released two important opinions affecting residential real estate title and financing in Oregon. The opinions concern two cases commonly known as Brandrup and Niday. Both opinions concerning the validity of the Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. or “MERS”. In the two opinions, the Oregon Supreme Court found that MERS is not a beneficiary under Oregon’s Trust Deed Act and confirmed that a beneficiary under the Oregon Trust Deed Act is the person to whom the obligation that the trust deed secures is owed. The Oregon Supreme Court left open the possibility the MERS could still have some authority to transfer a beneficial interest in a trust deed or to perform any act as part of a non-judicial foreclosure if it has authority to do so from the original beneficiary or the original beneficiaries successor in interest. As a result, the court remanded the Niday case back to the trial court to determine whether MERS had authority to act on behalf of the beneficiary as its agent. A full text of the opinions can be found at