MERS is not the mortgage holder. MERS is an electronic tracking system that keeps registrations on whom the actual current mortgage is owned by.
Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. (MERS) is an American privately held company that operates an electronic registry designed to track servicing rights and ownership of mortgage loans in the United States. MERS is owned by holding company MERSCORP, Inc.
The real estate law and real estate transactions in the US are subject to state regulations and county level recordation requirements, since the time of the establishment of the US as an independent country. That made it quite cumbersome for financial companies to develop a smooth operation of a market based on US mortgages in the early 1980s. This is because every time a financial instrument containing mortgages is sold, various state laws may require that the sale of each such mortgage (or deed of trust) be recorded in the local county courts in order to preserve certain rights (e.g., the right to foreclose non-judicially), which triggers an obligation to pay corresponding recording fees. So, the financial industry, eager to trade in mortgage-backed securities, needed to find a way around these recordation requirements, and this is how MERS was born to replace public recordation with a private one. By 2007, MERS registered some two-thirds of all the home loans in the US.
I'd look at the deed. Odds are it was the original lender taking the property back in out of the foreclosure
Land title agent. I do this for a living.