07-18-2018  2:04 am      •     
The Skanner Report
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NEWS BRIEFS

Experience the Culture at the Second Annual Pan African Festival of Oregon

Event will take place from 12 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 11 ...

Oregon Humane Society Photo Contest Now Open

Submissions for annual pet photo contest open until August 15 ...

Mark Christopher Lawrence to Perform at Harvey’s Comedy Club July 13-15

Former Big Mike of “Chuck” will perform at 7:30 and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 7:30 Sunday ...

Dragon Fest 2018

Lions, dragons and breakdancers descend on Seattle’s Chinatown-International District for the Pacific Northwest’s largest...

Wildfires force evacuations in Spokane, Columbia River Gorge

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A small but fast-moving wildfire in Spokane prompted evacuation notices for more than 700 homes, authorities said Tuesday.The so-called Upriver Beacon Fire, which was less than 1 square mile (2.6 sq. kilometer), broke out near a residential area.Several homes caught...

Prominent sovereign citizen sentenced for federal bank fraud

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — A prominent sovereign citizen has been sentenced to more than four years in prison for conspiring to launder money.The Knoxville News Sentinel reports Heather Ann Tucci-Jarraf was sentenced Tuesday after delivering a 45-minute speech denying the federal judge's...

Wildfires force evacuations in Spokane, Columbia River Gorge

SPOKANE, Wash. (AP) — A small but fast-moving wildfire in Spokane prompted evacuation notices for more than 700 homes, authorities said Tuesday.The so-called Upriver Beacon Fire, which was less than 1 square mile (2.6 sq. kilometer), broke out near a residential area.Several homes caught...

Authorities form task force to investigate wildfires

SEATTLE (AP) — Authorities in western Washington state are forming a task force to investigate a series of recent wildfires.KCPQ-TV reports the Mason County Sheriff's Office is working with state and local agencies after more than 15 fires were reported in the county over a short period of...

OPINION

A Letter from America’s Children

American children struggling with poverty, violence and homelessness, deserve media coverage, too ...

Rep. Maxine Waters Takes Strong Stand for Fair Housing

Congresswoman Maxine Waters recently stepped up to file legislation designed to cure many of regressive ills pushed by Secretary Carson ...

10 Indoor Plants Every Pet Lover Must Have

Dr. Jasmine Streeter shares her tips on stress-busting plants ...

NAACP Statement on Nomination of Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court

NAACP opposes Kavanaugh's confirmation to the D.C. Circuit ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

Texas executes man for 2004 slaying of store owner

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — A Texas prisoner was executed Tuesday evening for the fatal shooting of a San Antonio convenience store owner after courts turned down appeals that the state parole board improperly rejected the inmate's clemency request because he's black.Christopher Young, 34,...

The Latest: Texas executes man for 2004 store owner slaying

HUNTSVILLE, Texas (AP) — The Latest on the Texas execution (all times local):6:45 p.m.A 34-year-old Texas prisoner has been executed for the fatal shooting of a San Antonio convenience store owner during an attempted robbery nearly 14 years ago.Christopher Young received a lethal injection...

Is Trump's retraction his final word on Russia? Unlikely

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Washington political playbook called for President Donald Trump to make clear — and fast — that the U.S. wasn't in the pocket of Russia President Vladimir Putin. On Tuesday, Trump relented, saying he misspoke on Russian election meddling.But apologies and...

ENTERTAINMENT

World Cup finale reaches 16 million viewers in U.S.

NEW YORK (AP) — The World Cup soccer final where France defeated Croatia was seen by just over 16 million people in the United States on Sunday.While that made the Sunday morning telecast on Fox and Telemundo the most-watched program of the week, it represented a significant drop in...

'McQueen' examines career of a brilliant, troubled designer

NEW YORK (AP) — The London fashion world didn't know quite what hit it when Alexander McQueen's disheveled models staggered down the runway at his 1995 "Highland Rape" show, their Scottish-inspired clothing ripped to expose breasts and nether regions.It was exactly the reaction that McQueen,...

Destiny's Child singer Williams seeks mental health help

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Destiny's Child singer Michelle Williams says she's seeking help for the depression she has struggled with for years.Williams said in an Instagram post Tuesday that she has "sought help from a great team of health care professionals."She gave no specifics on her treatment,...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

Ex-FBI chief Comey urges voters to support Democrats in fall

WASHINGTON (AP) — James Comey, the FBI director who was fired last year by President Donald Trump, is...

Intense government bombing of south Syria opposition holdout

BEIRUT (AP) — Talks to cede the largest opposition holdout in southwestern Syria to the government have...

Marriott hotels eliminating plastic straws by 2019

DETROIT (AP) — Marriott International plans to remove plastic straws and drink stirrers from all of its...

Rescue group: Libya left migrants to die in Mediterranean

MADRID (AP) — A migrant aid group has accused Libya's coast guard of abandoning three people in the...

Obama delivers veiled rebuke to Trump in Mandela address

JOHANNESBURG (AP) — In his highest profile speech since leaving office, former U.S. President Barack Obama...

Trump backs off siding with Russia over US intelligence

WASHINGTON (AP) — Blistered by bipartisan condemnation of his embrace of a longtime U.S. enemy, President...

By The Skanner News

This just in from Multnomah County Chair Jeff Cogen:

One of Multnomah County's many important functions is to gather, maintain and provide county residents with public records. Records of marriage, divorce, court matters, land ownership and more are all housed within our Recording Office for the use and benefit of the public.  

For this reason, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners will vote on a resolution at its Nov. 15 meeting that would initiate a lawsuit to be filed by the county against banks belonging to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, ("MERS") in the State of Oregon.

MERS is a privately held company that serves as a registry to electronically track ownership of mortgage loans nationally for the ease and convenience of large financial institutions like, Bank of America, JP Morgan Chase, HSBC, Merrill Lynch, among others.  

MERS allows financial institutions to expeditiously transfer loans by circumventing public recording offices. Banks do not list themselves as the holder of a mortgage on county land records, and instead list MERS, creating a shadow recording system hidden from public view. Those quick transfers have enabled banks to package and sell mortgages to investors - the same mortgage packages that caused the collapse of our financial markets and what we now know as the Great Recession.  

By using MERS to circumvent county recordings, these backdoor dealings have also cost the public significant losses in county revenue in recording fees - resources that would otherwise be used to bolster our numerous health and human services and support our most vulnerable county residents. Perhaps even more importantly, this non-disclosure by members of MERS has made it difficult for homeowners in Oregon to pinpoint who their actual mortgage loan is with and resulted in an inaccurate public record of what financial institution owns or has owned the mortgage loan on a given property.

When I took public office years ago, I made a pledge to always look out for how things affect our residents and taxpayers. Because Multnomah County maintains this record for the public benefit, we are obligated to ensure the accuracy of recorded information. We will take action against any entities that willfully do harm to the public record through the recording of false or misleading documents.

Our proposed lawsuit will not only call for a recovery of county recording fees dodged by the banks belonging to MERS, but reform to the system that has allowed these activities to take place and will seek to require MERS to restore the integrity of our public records.

Our board meets on Thursday, Nov. 15 to decide on this action. As always, our weekly board meetings are open to the public and take place at 501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd. in Portland, starting at 9:30 a.m. To see a news report on MERS, click here.

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