What is MERS (Mortgage Electronic Registration System) and why would MERS own a residential property?

MERS owns a property in my neighborhood. The latest occupant claims they own the house, but the county record doesn't show a transaction for their purchase of the house. MERS is the current owner of record. I am thinking that the MERS system may be recording the transactions that occur with this house, thus... show more MERS owns a property in my neighborhood. The latest occupant claims they own the house, but the county record doesn't show a transaction for their purchase of the house. MERS is the current owner of record. I am thinking that the MERS system may be recording the transactions that occur with this house, thus "hiding" the transaction from public record.
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