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Massachusetts Official: Take Our Money Out of Bank of America

Photo: Oliver Quillia for CNBC.com

A local government official in Massachusetts has asked the state’s treasurer to pull funds from Bank of America.

Essex District Register of Deeds John O’Brien wrote a letter to Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman, asking that the Treasurer change depository banks.

“Register O’Brien has specifically asked the Treasurer to place all deposits from his Registry into a local, non-MERS bank that follows the Massachusetts Land recordation rules,” the Register said in a statement released today.

On an annual basis, the Southern Essex District Registry of Deeds deposits approximately $25 million dollars into Bank of America .

O’Brien has been speaking out against the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (“MERS”), the digital mortgage database that has become controversial in recent months. Critics contend the system leads to abuses and undermines long-standing property registration rules.

O’Brien says that MERS member banks, including Bank of America, have failed to record assignments and pay the associated fees. He said that Essex County has lost over $22 million dollars because of MERS.

According to O’Brien, the loss of revenue to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts could be as high as $200 million dollars and to the nation, possibly in the billions.

“Perhaps when these lenders lose millions of dollars in deposits, they may begin to understand the seriousness of their actions. It seems to me that their business model which has been referred to as ‘fees for thee, not for me’ needs to be abolished,” O’Brien said.

Bank of America could not immediately be reached for comment.

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