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Law alumnus cited by U.S. Court of Appeals

January 27, 2012

Rob Dordan, J.D. ’11, recipient of the Best Comment Award from Loyola’s Journal of Public Interest Law for 2011, had his work cited by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.

In the article, “Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Its Recent Legal Battles, and the Chance for a Peaceful Existence,” Dordan set out to explain how MERS works and the problems it can cause. His work was referenced in the case Cervantes v. Countrywide Home Loans.

“Basically, MERS is a system that mortgage companies use that often makes it incredibly difficult for homeowners to know who actually owns their loan. If a homeowner looks in the county (or parish) records, many times all the homeowner will see is MERS listed on the mortgage,” Dordan said. “However, MERS only exists for its name to sit on the mortgage, while in reality the actual rights and ownership are transferred in the background. This means that what was once public information is now kept in a database closed to the public.”

According to Dordan, this process harms homeowners who are facing foreclosure or who have legal claims because they cannot be certain who is actually responsible for the loan. Dordan argued that if the MERS database was open to the public, it would address the main problem with MERS—its lack of transparency.

“This would help homeowners and also would be beneficial for MERS by keeping it accountable and avoiding many of the legal conflicts created by its lack of transparency,” Dordan added.

Loyola strives to prepare students to lead meaningful lives with and for others, an idea not lost on Dordan.

“Loyola was a great experience for me. I am focused on public interest law, and that is why I chose Loyola. The faculty, students, Journal of Public Interest Law, Gillis Long program and city of New Orleans made it a perfect fit for an aspiring public interest attorney. It is an honor and a great feeling to see my article being put into practical and significant use,” Dordan said.

For more information, contact James Shields in the Office of Public Affairs at 504-861-5888 or jshields@loyno.edu.

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