Oregon Supreme Court hears key foreclosure case

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SALEM, Ore. (AP) — The Oregon Supreme Court will be deciding the future of an electronic mortgage registry that's become central to the banking industry's lending and foreclosure practices.

Justices heard oral arguments Tuesday in a key legal challenge.

Foreclosures have slowed significantly as the legal challenge moves through the judiciary. The Supreme Court decision is expected to resolve years of uncertainty around the role of Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems Inc., or MERS.

MERS has allowed lenders to avoid publicly recording the ownership history of a trust deed.

A state appeals court ruled in July that lenders using MERS must go through the courts to begin foreclosure proceedings.

The Supreme Court is expected to release a decision later this year.

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