Here at Nationwide Title Clearing, we recently started receiving letters from the Herkimer County Clerk in New York in response to documents we submitted for recording that seemed particularly interesting to us.
It appears that Herkimer County will now be using a new indexing system for the filing of MERS Assignments (into or out of MERS) and Satisfactions with MERS or its nominee as the current beneficiary. Instead of indexing MERS Assignments or Satisfactions as simply an "Assignment of Mortgage" or a "Satisfaction of Mortgage" they will now also be indexed as a "minute." The reason given by the county, as per the county recorder’s written letters, is that MERS assignments and satisfactions do not comply with all the legal requirements per New York law.
The assignment letter states, "As a courtesy, we are advising you that the attached Assignment of Mortgage has been recorded. However, the Mortgage(s) referred to on this Assignment of Mortgage has not been noted as assigned. Instead we have noted as a 'minute'. The reason for noting as a 'minute' is because the document(s) does not comply with all the legal requirements under Section 321(1) of the Real Property Law for marking the mortgage as 'assigned'. When a 'minute is entered, the mortgage is noted as follows: 'document relating to mortgage recorded on ______ as Document # ____.' (The assignment must be signed by the mortgagee or assignee. Assignments executed by MERS 'as nominee' will be noted as a 'minute'.)"
This appears that it does not affect the recording of these documents, just how they are indexed on record. It is still undetermined if this "minute" notation will somehow affect the mortgage satisfaction or assignments in the future. We also wonder if this will adversely affect title searches or property reports in the future for this county, especially if you conducted a search for all assignments of record.
This is an interesting change and the first we have seen like it. We wanted to alert our clients so that you can conduct your own research into this matter to ensure that any documents you file in Herkimer County New York adhere to all applicable law.
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