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The Associated Press October 27, 2011, 1:22PM ET

Del. officials target electronic mortgage registry

The Delaware attorney general's office is accusing a company that registers mortgages electronically of deceptive trade practices.

In a lawsuit filed Thursday, state officials say Virginia-based Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc. has sown confusion among consumers, investors and other stakeholders in the mortgage finance system. Officials claim the company has damaged the integrity of Delaware's land records system and lead to unlawful foreclosure practices.

MERS was set up by the banking industry to rapidly package and sell mortgages as securities without recording each transaction in county recorder offices.

The company has been the target of similar complaints in several other states. The complaints allege among other things that homeowners have trouble responding to foreclosure actions and mortgage inaccuracies because MERS makes it difficult to find out who owns the mortgages.

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