President Barack Obama vetoed the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act citing the country’s growing mortgage foreclosure problem.
Three major banks – GMAC Mortgage, JPMorgan Chase & Co., and PNC Bank – plan to stop foreclosures in 23 states, including Pennsylvania, because mortgage documents were poorly processed. Bank of America halted foreclosures in all 50 states.
The IRON Act would have required federal or state courts to recognize documents notarized in other states.
Opponents of the bill, including the Notary Public Administrators Section of the National Association of Secretaries of State (NASS) and the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Law (NCCUSL) argued that the 1982 Uniform Law on Notarial Acts already contains provisions for the recognition of notarial acts across state lines.
Opponents also noted Article IV, Section 1 of the U.S. Constitution, called the “full faith and credit clause,” which provides that the various states must recognize legislative acts, public records, and judicial decisions of other states.
Other bills entitled “Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act” have been introduced three times in the House of Representatives and once in the Senate since 1997. One bill passed the House under special rules; all of the bills eventually died in committee.
On Sept. 27, Pennsylvania Senator Bob Casey asked that the Senate Judiciary Committee be discharged from further consideration of the bill. The Senate then moved foward and passed the bill without amendment by unanimous consent.
The Obama Administration said recent reports that banks submitted fraudulent documents to push through house foreclosures was a major factor in his vetoeing the bill. He said Congress needs to be more cautious about changing notarization rules.