Franklin County Recorder of Deeds Sharon Birkman

Franklin County lost $100,560 last year because there is no law requiring land deed assignments to be filed with the local recorder of deeds office, an official said this week.

Recorder of Deeds Sharon Birkman said Franklin County is missing out on the fee it would get if the deed assignments were filed in her office.

The fee to file deed assignments in the Franklin County recorder of deeds office is $27 for the first page and $3 for each page after.

Birkman said banks send the deed assignments to Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, which she said is a private company owned by banks.

“These banks give out mortgages, and then they send them straight to MERS,” Birkman said.

Birkman said she plans to present the problem to the Missouri Association of Counties Board next week to see if the organization will support her efforts for change.

“We ought to be doing something about it,” Birkman said, adding that it is a national problem.

The money the county is losing could help pay for county operations, Birkman noted.

Kansas City recently sued MERS but lost the case because there is no law in Missouri that says deed assignments must be filed in the county where the property is located, Birkman said.

Banks started filing deed assignments with MERS in the 1990s to speed up the amount of time it takes to close property transactions, Birkman said.