In this Article, Professor Whitman analyzes the existing legal regime for transfers of notes and mortgages on the secondary market, and concludes that it is highly inconvenient and dysfunctional, with the result that large numbers of market participants simply did not observe its rules during the huge market run-up of the early and mid-2000s. He also considers Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS), which was designed to alleviate the inconveniences of repeatedly recording mortgage assignments, but concludes that it was conceptually flawed and has proven to be an inadequate response to the problem. For these reasons the legal system was ill-prepared for the avalanche of foreclosures that followed the collapse of the mortgage market in 2007, and continues to be beset by litigation and uncertainty. This Article then provides a conceptual outline for an alternative National Mortgage Registry, which would supplant the present legal system and would provide convenience, transparency, and efficiency for all market participants. He concludes with a draft of a statute that could be enacted by Congress to create such a registry

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