H.R. 3808: Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2009
H.R. 3808, the "Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act of 2009” was vetoed by President Obama on October 8, 2010. The legislation passed the House of Representatives in April and the Senate at the end of September. However, due to external circumstances regarding the foreclosure crisis, the President was under pressure from both Democrats and Republicans to veto the bill. Currently, several of the major mortgage firms have been under fire for illegally authorizing the foreclosure of homes. Thousands of documents were notarized monthly by individual notaries raising questions over whether they were properly reviewed. Critics of the legislation argued that it would increase fraud in the mortgage market.
Introduced by Representative Robert Aderholt, H.R. 3808 would allow notarized documents to be recognized in any state or federal court if the subject of the documents affects interstate commerce. The bill does not preclude the challenge of a notarized document, such as a will contest. Additionally, each state still will be responsible for regulating its own notaries. Typically, someone who wishes to become a notary pays a fee, submits an application and takes an oath of office. Some states require applicants to enroll in an educational course, pass an exam, and obtain a notary bond. This legislation does not change how the individual states regulate notaries in any manner.
Despite the bill getting vetoed by the President, it coming up in Congress again gives NCRA the unique ability to play a significant role in the re-write of the legislation. The President and the majority of Congress are not opposed to the issue, but are opposed to the abuses by the major mortgage firms. Rep. Aderholt anticipates endorsing interstate notary recognition next session and NCRA will continue to work for our members to pass this integral legislation.
Click here for the full text of the legislation.
Please email any questions that you may have on federal legislation pertinent to the court reporting profession to Adam Finkel in our Government Relations Office. You can also call him at 703-556-6272 ext. 159.