The Notarization Bill Might Be Back

According to ZeroHedge (thanks to commenter BR), the House may consider over-riding Obama’s veto of the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act. 4Closurefraud says the vote is on.

This is not surprising, as it was widely reported that there was a MERS whitewash bill in the works.

But only dirty hippies would suggest this is a plutocracy.

*** Update ***

Comments suggest these two sites are wrong, because a pocket veto can not be overridden.

57 replies
  1. 1
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    The show must go on.

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    I’m sure the teabaggers will be very upset about this.

  3. 3
    BR says:

    Just FYI, I called my congressperson’s office and senators’ offices, and the staff was clueless about the bill. But that figures for a bill that somehow passed on a voice vote despite the real potential problems with the bill as raised by Jennifer Brunner and others.

    More to the point, though, I don’t understand how Dems in congress can even think of overriding a Democratic president’s veto.

  4. 4
    Martin says:

    But MERS is the private sector performing its magic. Only 40 employees! Efficiency! Innovation! Accountability! What could go wrong with free-market competitive checks and balances? Consumers will just choose a more secure mortgage recording service if MERS fucks up!

  5. 5
    freelancer says:

    Someone care to unpack the nomeclature in this post? I feel clueless.

    What is the bill? What would it do (or undo)? etc.

  6. 6
    Zifnab says:

    Hurray! Bipartisanship!

  7. 7
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @BR:

    More to the point, though, I don’t understand how Dems in congress can even think of overriding a Democratic president’s veto.

    Did you type that with a straight face? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ is why.

  8. 8
    kdaug says:

    Brilliant! Now a robo-signer in Puerto Rico can do the notarizations, be paid $2/hr, and the banks can present actual, legit docs in court.

    It’s a win/win/win!

    Oh. Wait…

  9. 9
    Mike M says:

    A pocket veto cannot be overridden. The House was not in session and the President did not sign the bill within the required period. As a result, the bill is dead and must be introduced anew.

  10. 10
    BR says:

    @freelancer:

    Here’s what Sec. Brunner said about it (repost from other thread):

    Some states have adopted “electronic notarization” laws that ignore the requirement of a signer’s personal appearance before a notary. A notary’s signature is that of a trusted, impartial third party, whose notarization bolsters the integrity of the document. Many of these policies for electronic notarization are driven by technology rather than by principle, and they are dangerous to consumers….
    __
    Mortgages are now being used as backing for securities traded all over the world by financial institutions. When a mortgage goes into default, a “chain of title” (list of its owners) must be created. It’s being discovered that many financial institutions have taken shortcuts in creating lawful chains of title that allow them to foreclose and take homes when they would not otherwise have the right under the law.
    __
    Banks demand we follow every letter of their contracts. We must demand they follow the law. It’s that simple.

  11. 11
    Steve says:

    By a strange coincidence, a clearcut case of notary fraud just crossed my desk today. Warranty deed witnessed and notarized in 1999, but for some reason it wasn’t recorded with the county until 2008. Upon closer examination, the deed refers to several documents that didn’t even exist until 2002, and a land survey that was conducted in 2002, so it probably wasn’t signed in 1999, now was it?

    I’m sure there was nothing nefarious, because the deed is just a company selling a piece of property to the company’s managers for $1…

  12. 12
    freelancer says:

    @BR:

    Okay. That’s fucking bad. God, it sucks being a Democrat.

  13. 13
    slag says:

    @Steve:

    I’m sure there was nothing nefarious, because the deed is just a company selling a piece of property to the company’s managers for $1…

    Ha! Awesome.

  14. 14
    BR says:

    @Steve:

    Do you think it was intentional? After reading the recent Taibbi piece and the details he included about the ridiculous time warps and holes in the documents the banks were presenting, I have a hard time believing any paperwork on property these days…

  15. 15
    Brachiator says:

    @BR:

    More to the point, though, I don’t understand how Dems in congress can even think of overriding a Democratic president’s veto.

    Everyone insane appears to be jumping on the bandwagon to insure that the Obama administration does not have any significant achievements.

    Even if it puts the country at risk.

    We have more nuclear and other military hardware than any other nature on Earth. We have so much firepower that even if we used stem cell research to create a new group of humans, seeded them on Mars, gave them some of our weapons and started a war, we would still have a shitload left over.

    You would think that reducing nuclear arms would be a good thing. Even Reagan did it.

    But no.

    In a blow to President Barack Obama, chances faded Tuesday for Senate approval of a major nuclear arms treaty with Russia this year, tripping up one of the administration’s top foreign policy goals: improving relations with Moscow.
    __
    Obama has been pushing to get enough Republican support for a vote before the Democratic majority shrinks by six in January, and was optimistic just over the weekend about sealing perhaps his most significant foreign policy achievement.
    __
    Part of the task included winning over Sen. Jon Kyl, the leading Republican senator on the New START agreement, who has demanded more funds for the U.S. nuclear arsenal as a condition for approving the treaty….
    __
    In a statement Tuesday, Kyl said he didn’t think the issue should be considered this year, citing a busy Senate agenda and the complexity of the treaty. Democrats are unlikely to be able to move forward without his support.

    Note also how the Republicans, you know, those guys who are so hot to reduce federal spending, want to allocate more funds to “modernizing” the US nuclear arsenal.

  16. 16
    Kryptik says:

    @BR:
    @Dennis SGMM:

    Not to mention ‘Bipartisanship!’ and ‘Will of the peoples!’

    Between that and the obvious $$$, I’m pretty sure the 2/3rds mark will be breached rather handily. But hey, I’m an optimistic, cheery sort.

  17. 17
    kdaug says:

    “Inside, you can feel the difference. Outside, you can see the difference.”

    (OK, admittedly obscure).

  18. 18
    Bob Loblaw says:

    No offense, but you might want to wait for more credible sources than Neil Garfield and Zero Hedge. ZH has never yet found a market-busting conspiracy theory they didn’t want to hug and squeeze to death.

  19. 19
    MikeJ says:

    @Mike M:

    A pocket veto cannot be overridden. The House was not in session and the President did not sign the bill within the required period. As a result, the bill is dead and must be introduced anew.

    Why on earth would you be concerned about facts and stuff when we’ve got a good hate going?

  20. 20
    cyntax says:

    The problem with democracy isn’t that you get the government you deserve, but that you suffer under the government others deserve.

  21. 21
    BR says:

    Comments suggest these two sites are wrong, because a pocket veto can not be overridden.

    Good, and I hope that’s the case, and sorry for any false alarm.

    Hopefully the MERS whitewash bill isn’t going to happen either, but we should probably keep an eye out for it.

  22. 22
    BR says:

    @Mike M:

    A pocket veto cannot be overridden. The House was not in session and the President did not sign the bill within the required period. As a result, the bill is dead and must be introduced anew.

    So I just checked Thomas and govtrack and they both list the bill as “vetoed by the president”. Do they list pocket vetoes the same way?

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/.....11:HR03808: way?

    http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/.....11:HR03808:

  23. 23
    Ruckus says:

    @Brachiator:
    The old saying “Follow the Money”, we don’t need that anymore.
    It’s been replaced with “To find the Money, find a Politician”.

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Bob Loblaw says:

    @Brachiator:

    This would be why you don’t negotiate with terrorists.

    But hey, both Obama and those dastardly Russians get to be totally humiliated, so why the fuck would Republicans give a damn about any other outcomes to their reckless choices? If any shit goes sideways because of this, they’ll just have another awesome chip to play against Obama in 2012. Win win.

  26. 26
    Nutella says:

    Well, if you look at the the LOC site it says

    11/15/2010 2:14pm:VETO MESSAGE FROM THE PRESIDENT – The Chair laid before the House the veto message from the President on H.R. 3808. The objections of the President were spread at large upon the Journal, and the veto message was ordered to be printed as a House Document No. 111-152. Pursuant to the order of the House of earlier today, further consideration of the veto message and the bill are postponed until the legislative day of Wednesday, Nov. 17, 2010, and that on that legislative day, the House shall proceed to the constitutional question of reconsideration and dispose of such question without intervening motion.

    so something is going on.

  27. 27
    Steve says:

    I wouldn’t be so sure on the pocket veto thing. The status is ambiguous, because the President BOTH pocket vetoed it and returned it to Congress with a veto message, just to make sure. This was probably the prudent move on his part, but someone could argue that since there was a veto message it’s a regular veto, full steam ahead.

    The Congressional Record reflects that the House is talking about taking this bill up again, at a minimum. This isn’t just a couple bloggers spewing a crazy theory that the bill is back. That said, I doubt both houses will override the veto in any event.

  28. 28
    oondioline says:

    Zero Hedge fail again.

    Stop reading that shit, man.

  29. 29
    The Other Chuck says:

    How the hell do you “pocket veto” *and* return the bill to Congress? And why would a president want to do that anyway? Quoth that scrap of paper:

    Every bill which shall have passed the House of Representatives and the Senate shall, before it become a law, be presented to the President of the United States; if he approves, he shall sign it, but if not he shall return it, with his objections to that House in which it shall have originated, who shall enter the objections at large on their journal, and proceed to reconsider it. If after such reconsideration two thirds of that House shall agree to pass the bill, it shall be sent, together with the objections, to the other House, by which it shall likewise be reconsidered, and if approved by two thirds of that House, it shall become a law. But in all such cases the votes of both Houses shall be determined by yeas and nays, and the names of the persons voting for and against the bill shall be entered on the journal of each House respectively. If any bill shall not be returned by the President within ten days (Sundays excepted) after it shall have been presented to him, the same shall be a law, in like manner as if he had signed it, unless the Congress by their adjournment prevent its return, in which case it shall not be a law.

    No “the president must use his special veto pen or it doesn’t count” clause. Returning it with objections _is_ a veto. Regardless, there’s no way in hell that both chambers have the 2/3 requirement to override.

  30. 30
    General Stuck says:

    @Steve:

    I wouldn’t be so sure on the pocket veto thing. The status is ambiguous, because the President BOTH pocket vetoed it and returned it to Congress with a veto message, just to make sure. This was probably the prudent move on his part, but someone could argue that since there was a veto message it’s a regular veto, full steam ahead

    I think this is may be right, and didn’t we discuss this here a while back? Maybe not, but sending the bill back meets the requirement of a regular veto, I think. But it is murky because court decisions on this have other qualifications, like are congress members in a position to vote, or in town, or not.

  31. 31
    John Cole says:

    @kdaug: I before e except after c.

    Stop. stop. Inside.

  32. 32
    Person of Choler says:

    “But only dirty hippies would suggest this is a plutocracy.”

    From one who bathes every Saturday whether he needs to or not: The suckers who made the loans that couldn’t be paid back or the fools who bought the packaged crap mortgages and didn’t bother with due diligence or proper legal documentation of ownership changes deserve to eat their losses.

    And congress (Democrat-controlled the first time, half-Republican this time) has no business mitigating the well-deserved consequences of stupidity by people who should know better.

  33. 33
    Steve says:

    @The Other Chuck: The reason for the procedural confusion is that Congress technically never adjourned, because they held 5-minute pro forma sessions each day to prevent recess appointments (another bit of silliness, but let’s set that aside). Now, if Congress is adjourned and Obama sits on the bill for 10 days, it’s pocket vetoed, that much we know. But if Congress technically isn’t adjourned, then the bill automatically becomes law after 10 days – exactly the opposite of what the President wants.

    Supreme Court decisions on the pocket veto power from like 100 years ago suggest that Obama had the power to pocket veto this bill, because Congress actually has to be open for legislative business – a 5-minute session with one guy holding the gavel doesn’t count. But he wanted to be sure, so that’s why he pocket vetoed AND sent the bill back with a veto message purely as a precautionary measure.

  34. 34
    John O says:

    Well, the good news is that whatever it is, John McCain is either for or against it.

    I have a special place in my heart for John McCain just because of Palin, and Stevey B. put two videos together that has to have John and Cindy at each others’ throats, and that got me worked up enough to blog about it.

    OnT: Of course we live in a plutocracy. Only a moron can’t see it.

  35. 35
    BR says:

    @Steve:

    Well, I guess either way we’ll find out what the house has in mind for the bill tomorrow. And given that the sponsor was two of the bluest of blue dogs, I’m sure they’d push for a veto override if possible.

  36. 36
    kdaug says:

    @John Cole: Knew I liked you, Cole.

    Out for billiards. Back later.

  37. 37
    mikefromArlington says:

    There was a banking committee hearing on this this afternoon on C-SPAN. They were processing the titles without properly reporting it to the counties, etc…

    But, the requirements vary from state to state according to one of the lawyers at the hearing. The guy from MERS sounded pretty nervous about the whole thing tbh.

  38. 38
    Montysano says:

    @Person of Choler:

    the fools who bought the packaged crap mortgages and didn’t bother with due diligence or proper legal documentation of ownership changes deserve to eat their losses.

    A component of due diligence used to be to check and see what rating the security was given by the rating agencies. As it turns out, the rating agencies were in on the grift, handing out AAA ratings like candy at Halloween (and so far, mysteriously, no one has gone to prison). Also, from what I’ve read, a prospectus would tell you nothing about the state of ownership of the bundled mortgages.

    All over the country/world, lawyers who represent the buyers of this toxic crap are sharpening their knives. We’re just getting started, folks.

    Here’s a question: in several places, I’ve read that the Fed, as part of QE2, is buying treasuries from the banks (at a significant markup), rather than directly from the govt. At this point, my ability to comprehend all of this has reached its limit. Can anyone help?

  39. 39
  40. 40
    Ruckus says:

    I’m pretty sure that at the end of all of this, the people who win will be those who are liquid enough to buy any house they want with cash. The losers will be everyone else. The winners will be made whole in some fashion and the losers will be sliced up like a Veg-O-Matic commercial.

  41. 41
    Roger Moore says:

    @Brachiator:

    Note also how the Republicans, you know, those guys who are so hot to reduce federal spending screw poor people, want to allocate more funds to “modernizing” the US nuclear arsenal lining their cronies’ pockets.

    FTFY.

  42. 42
    JohnR says:

    a pocket veto can not be overridden

    I’m sorry; you must be confused – IOKIYAAR clearly trumps any other silly rule. I’m pretty sure that’s in the Constitution somewhere.

  43. 43
    Maude says:

    @Ruckus:
    If the mortgage and the note have been separated, all the money won’t help.
    There’s no clear ownership of the property.

  44. 44

    @Montysano:

    Here’s a question: in several places, I’ve read that the Fed, as part of QE2, is buying treasuries from the banks (at a significant markup), rather than directly from the govt.

    I don’t know whether they are or not.

    But if the Fed did buy treasuries from banks, the banks would wind up with more liquidity [is that the word?].

    I suppose this is supposed to encourage the banks to make loans for startups and expansion and therefore increasing hiring. Haven’t we heard this before?

  45. 45
    Person of Choler says:

    @Montysano: You’re absolutely right about the rating agencies, but it is convenient for investors to make rating agencies the scapegoat for stupid investments. Anyone who had any financial industry experience knows that the rated entities pay for their ratings and ought to be accordingly suspicious of rating information. I despair of ever understanding why a sane investor would give credence to rating agency information after experiences with Enron, Long Term Capital Management, and other fiascoes.

  46. 46

    @Bob Loblaw: There is also one other problem with ZH. There are probably three or four people that write under the Tyler Durden moniker. One of them seems to lean Democratic, but the others all seem to be Ron Paul supporting anti-Fed conspiracy theorists. And most of them hate Krugman with a white, hot passion too. And they let RWNJ small time Hollywood movie director write there(Gonzalo Lira).

  47. 47
    Ruckus says:

    @Maude:
    Absolutely.
    But not the point.
    Clear ownership will accrue to those with money. Because we will see something like amnesty for the banks and originators and large scale investors. What won’t get sorted out will be everything else. Many will lose their homes (this has already happened, linked on this blog before) that they shouldn’t because they don’t have the money to buy the legal protection. For many the paperwork will just not be available in any form that follows what should have happened. See Steve @11 above. It will be faked, counterfeited, made up, and the courts have no way to check. And like Florida, I’ll bet they won’t care enough to take a hard look at anything provided by the defendant. Hence my prior post.

  48. 48
    Dennis SGMM says:

    @Linda Featheringill:

    I suppose this is supposed to encourage the banks to make loans for startups and expansion and therefore increasing hiring. Haven’t we heard this before?

    Oh yeah.
    We can’t break up the TBTF banks because then they won’t be competitive and they won’t be able to loan money to business.

    We have to allow the banks to mark their phony-baloney assets to book rather than mark to market because they’ll lose liquidity and then they won’t be able to…

    Next:
    We have to turn over the whole fucking country to the banks because then they’ll have the liquidity to loan sparrow-shit-sized bits of it back to us.

  49. 49
    Ash Can says:

    @Person of Choler: Do you have any financial industry experience yourself? If you do, you know that the rating agencies were trusted to the point where if they even signaled a change in rating — even a minor increment — it was enough to make a stock skyrocket or tank. You would also know that the ratings agencies were considered the gold standard, the last word in whether or not a stock was even worth looking at. And you’d know that the revelation that the companies received their ratings for pay is a relatively recent one. Perhaps there were a few insiders in New York who knew what was going on all along, but when ratings changes are enough to move the market, it by definition is not common knowledge that the ratings are worthless.

  50. 50
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    (I expect this is O/T, sorry)

    Heh. I just got a call from the DCCC while I was reading this thread. They asked me for $300. After I stopped laughing, I said that I had no plans to contribute any money this year, and that even if Dems won every contested recount it still wouldn’t make a difference in the partisan balance. They said, well, but we would have a *bigger* minority. I said, I see what’s happened in the years we’ve had a majority, I’m fed to the teeth with every Democrat save Obama and Pelosi. She said thank you and hung up quickly.

  51. 51
    jake the snake says:

    But only dirty hippies would suggest this is a plutocracy

    I for one welcome our cartoondog overlord.

  52. 52
    Michael says:

    @freelancer:

    What is the bill? What would it do (or undo)? etc.

    Basically, its purpose is to attempt a cure for the fact that MERS fucked up the security on the loans. My position is that they’re all now unsecured because of all the market cost-cutting brilliance.

    Basically, it is a bought legislative fix – you know, socializing the risk while privatizing the profits again.

  53. 53
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Montysano:

    All over the country/world, lawyers who represent the buyers of this toxic crap are sharpening their knives. We’re just getting started, folks.

    Indeed… indeed…

    Talk about going mano-a-mano in the Steel Death Cage…

    For once the too-big-to-fail banks are going to lock up w/ entities that actually have the means and resources to go toe to toe w/ them… this isn’t a bunch of DFHs trying to take down Chase… we’re talking national governments and the folks who manage huge pools of other people’s money.

    I, for one, am looking forward to it…

  54. 54
    Michael says:

    @Maude:

    There’s no clear ownership of the property.

    Au contraire, ownership is clear. The debtor owns the dirt.

    What isn’t owned is any security on the note – that’s dead. All those bright white boys cutting corners and costs over at MERS on pretty much every commercially traded note for the past 10 years shanked it. The note is unsecured, so the lender is stuck having to sue on breach, then it has to file a judgment lien, and then it can attempt to foreclose on that judgment lien, at the back of the line of other lienholders (and subject to all relevant exemptions).

  55. 55
    The Republic of Stupidity says:

    @Michael:

    The note is unsecured, so the lender is stuck having to sue on breach, then it has to file a judgment lien, and then it can attempt to foreclose on that judgment lien, at the back of the line of other lienholders (and subject to all relevant exemptions).

    I hate to admit it, but I’m not quite sure what all of that exactly means… am I safe assuming it represents…

    One Hell of a Farking Mess™

    ???

    That’s why I like this place… I learn such interesting tidbits of information all the time…

  56. 56
    Michael says:

    Think of it like this – for the past couple of centuries, the law on mortgages has been very clear. In order to ensure integrity in the title system the provisions required great specificity because over the years, it was learned that laxity creates instability and windows for the commission of fraud against other creditors.

    Thus, in order to have a note coupled to the security of a mortgage, the mortgage lender had to actually provide real consideration for the obligation – nominees or strawmen didn’t count. Also, while notes were always freely assignable, those assignments required the simultaneous recording of the mortgage assignment. This guaranteed the ability to identify the mortgage lender for eventual release of the obligation on satisfaction, also, it allowed junior lienholders to identify the proper parties to include in any of their litigation. What MERS did was to detach the notes from the mortgages, rendering the security interest null.

    While the notes (assuming they can be found) are still enforcible, the underlying debts are now deemed unsecure – so any action for breach of those notes can proceed to judgment, and any judgment lien on the property would now come in behind (or after the date) of every other judgment or mechanics’ lien. That’s huge, all by itself.

    Also, each state provides certain basic exemptions from attachment, even if bankruptcy protection isn’t invoked. That, too, really impacts the bank position in a crapped out MERS foreclosure.

  57. 57
    Steve says:

    @Michael:

    Basically, its purpose is to attempt a cure for the fact that MERS fucked up the security on the loans. My position is that they’re all now unsecured because of all the market cost-cutting brilliance.
    __
    Basically, it is a bought legislative fix – you know, socializing the risk while privatizing the profits again.

    Basically, you’re completely talking out of your ass. This bill was introduced years ago, long before the housing bubble even popped, so your stated “purpose” is just fantasy.

    There are legitimate reasons to have questions about this bill, but no one has shown that it actually does anything bad, at least not yet. It certainly doesn’t “legalize fraud” or anything of the sort. A large majority of states already recognize out-of-state notaries and won’t even be affected by this bill, that’s how shrewd and evil it is.

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