Margaret Gibbons,

The federal court has upheld the Montgomery County Recorder of Deeds’ right to sue an electronic mortgage registry company and banks doing business with that company for $15.7 million that she claims is owed to the county in recording fees.

The court Friday issued a 36-page memorandum and order denying a motion by MERS, also known as Mortgage Electronic Registry System, and its participating banks to dismiss the lawsuit filed last year by Recorder of Deeds Nancy J. Becker.

The court’s ruling, while not discussing the merits of the case, essentially states that Pennsylvania does have a law requiring that mortgage assignments be recorded with the recorder of deeds office and that the recorder of deeds has the right to bring legal action when he or she does not believe an entity is complying with the law.

“This is one major hurdle that we have now leaped,” Becker said Monday. “Now, we can move forward on the issues.”

MERS is a for-profit company that has set up a centralized database system of more than 60 million mortgage loans and 3,000-plus lending institution members across the country.

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