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Today, President Obama took a stand against the banks, against foreclosure, and against the Democratic leadership of both houses of Congress, torpedoing a stealth-legislation package that would have neatly bailed the banks out of the emerging document-gate scandal.

Chris Smith carries out his family's belongings during eviction from his foreclosed home in Adams County, Colorado, 02/02/09. (photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
Chris Smith carries out his family's belongings during eviction from his foreclosed home in Adams County, Colorado, 02/02/09. (photo: John Moore/Getty Images)


Obama's Courageous Stand on Foreclosure

By Marc Ash, Reader Supported News

07 October 10

Reader Supported News | Perspective


resident Barack Obama today made good his pledge to use the power of the Oval Office to help American homeowners. Obama refused to sign legislation specifically crafted to protect lenders involved in record numbers of home foreclosures, and stymie efforts by homeowners and their attorneys to challenge documents in those foreclosure actions.

While public attention and media coverage has been drawn in recent days to the issue of foreclosure document-doctoring by mortgage lenders, including some of the nation's largest, Congress was quietly crafting legislation that would have given the protection of federal law to the very documents at the center of the storm.

The "Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act," first passed by the House in April of this year, sat quietly in the Senate Judiciary Committee until the day before Congress recessed for their midterm-election break. On September 27, with little media coverage, public attention or public debate in the Senate, the bill was unexpectedly brought to the floor and passed.

Reminiscent of modifications made in 2008 to the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act that provided retroactive immunity to giant American telecommunications companies for their participation in Bush-era domestic electronic surveillance, the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act appears custom-crafted to validate retroactively mortgage foreclosure documents that many states' attorneys general fear may be fraudulent.

At the center of the recent firestorm are what are alleged to be flawed foreclosure documents. Challenges to those documents are the basis for foreclosure defense actions in many states. The Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act would have forced state courts to ignore many of the most commonly cited flaws in foreclosure documents, potentially streamlining and accelerating the already record pace of US families' home foreclosures.

Flawed documents, experts say, may only be a symptom of the larger, more tangled web of so-called "securitized mortgages," mortgage notes bundled into Wall Street investments - the very investments at the heart of the nation's economic crisis.

In refusing to sign the Interstate Recognition of Notarizations Act, President Obama broke with his own party's leadership on legislation successfully passed by both Democratic-controlled houses of Congress. It was a bold and principled stand by a president often maligned by party activists for failing to act forcefully enough on issues of passionate concern to the party's base, and often touted by the president himself.

For Obama, locked in a pitched battle to preserve congressional majorities for his party and his agenda, this decisive stand is sure to resonate with homeowners across the nation, regardless of party affiliation. For a presidency struggling to define itself, Mr. Obama's demur is a gauntlet thrown down.


Marc Ash is the founder and director of Reader Supported News, as well as Truthout.

Reader Supported News is the Publication of Origin for this work. Permission to republish is freely granted with credit and a link back to Reader Supported News.

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Founder, Reader Supported News

 
+36 # Jake Terpstra 2010-10-07 22:15
Thanks Mr. President.

Finally ordinary Americans will get a break. We are very grateful.
 
 
-2 # john henry 2010-10-12 12:05
My hat is off to the ceators of the sub-prime mortgage. It is a weapon of wealth destruction that just keeps on destroying wealth. It was brilliant! Greed is such a fine characteristic to exploit and the sub-prime mortgage scheme fanned its flames in the hearts of everyone: bankers, politicians, buyers, enemies of the Republic, and fuzzy thinking do-gooders. And now the short cuts taken by bankers scrambling to maximize their profits from the hopeful and foolish sweat of the poor threaten to bring the whole national economy down into a pile of rubble. If banks cannot take possession of the property that secured the loans they were forced to make, their money to lend disappears. This freezes "the means of exchange in the currents of trade." What a wonderful way to destroy a nation. Here is Change you can believe in!
 
 
+14 # CharlieL 2010-10-07 22:18
I was so surprised by this action, I wondered what the "catch" was. I figured either he was planning on changing his mind at the last second and signing it or was replaced by an alien or something.

This was SO out of character for Obama I simply couldn't BELIEVE it was true. Maybe Rahm's leaving is actually going to change things, in which case, I wish he had left 2 years ago.
 
 
+24 # Jake Terpstra 2010-10-07 22:18
Thank you Mr. President.

We are very happy to see ordinary Americans getting a break---finally .
 
 
-24 # rob 2010-10-07 22:41
"courageous stand" or did he just postpone it until after the election?
 
 
-10 # Elizabeth Darrow 2010-10-08 10:12
Too little too late--

Must disagree with Ash we have been waiting for his so-called bravery for two years-

-where is his real courage--which is when you do something with real risk?
 
 
+32 # Janet Hawk 2010-10-07 22:58
Good for you President Obama..you must have read Michael
Moore's rules for Democrats asking that you and other
members of Congress who are Democrats start taking stands
about issues that effect many middle class Americans. When
you do this..The Tea Party becomes weaker and you and what
you can do as President become stronger
 
 
+8 # susan pelican 2010-10-07 23:08
Maybe he listens to Robert Scheer-- maybe this is the first
giant step....
 
 
+29 # colleen heberer 2010-10-07 23:14
Great bews! At long last, our president is showing that he has balls! It's about time, and I hope he will now continue to stand up for "everyday" Americans and against the large corporations who care not a whit about America's middle and lower classes.
 
 
+23 # genierae 2010-10-08 06:58
Barack Obama showed he had "balls" just by running for president in this white racist country. He has done many good things since he was elected, and gotten no credit for them. If he were white he would be considered an excellent president, but since he's black he is the object of hate around the nation. I can't see why he would want to run in 2012. Once he's gone, I think it will be like the old song says: "You don't know what you've got, until you lose it." Especially if a Republican takes his place.
 
 
+14 # John W Greenwood Jr 2010-10-08 09:53
Quoting genierae:
Barack Obama showed he had "balls" just by running for president in this white racist country. He has done many good things since he was elected, and gotten no credit for them. If he were white he would be considered an excellent president, but since he's black he is the object of hate around the nation. I can't see why he would want to run in 2012. Once he's gone, I think it will be like the old song says: "You don't know what you've got, until you lose it." Especially if a Republican takes his place.

I could not have said it better myself.
 
 
+14 # OldRedleg 2010-10-08 09:55
You are very correct that he has not received anywhere near as much credit as he deserves, some to much extent because of his ethnicity. But to those many of us who really don't give a damn about his ethnic background, his lukewarm stance on many of the issues for which we thought we had elected him is the reason we are so lukewarm (if that) with our support.

His first big mistake was appointing Emanual, a more-corporate oriented person than a progressive/pop ulist, as his Chief of Staff. Then his refusal to come to terms with the fact that the Republican'ts (who even told him so, according to his interview with Rolling Stone) had no intention of working with him in his bi-partisan efforts to help the middle class. At that point, he should have stepped into the fray and dragged the Congress kicking and screaming into working his agenda. At least he would have shown the real leadership that I and many others had been looking for from the beginning. (sorry... out of space)
 
 
+5 # OldRedleg 2010-10-08 09:56
(continued)

Mr. Obama still has a slim chance of salvaging his Presidency. But he is still taking tentative steps as the leader he showed so much potential to be. I guess the prospect of a real progressive challenger to him in 2012 is, whether from the Democratic Party or a good third party (fat chance), the best I can hope for at this time.
 
 
+13 # genierae 2010-10-08 12:30
I think that Obama is just now hitting his stride. He was inexperienced and of course he made missteps, but he is a quick-study, and he has recently taken steps in a more progressive direction. I think that if he is re-elected, we will see this continue, especially if progressives put pressure on him. They can push him in the right direction with constructive criticism, but they need to do it in a respectful way.
 
 
+4 # Ginny 2010-10-08 15:04
hear, hear!
 
 
0 # gorge girl 2010-10-09 11:45
I'm sorry, but he could be frikkin neon green and I wouldn't give a rats arse. His actions speak for him. What color his skin is, is so completely irrelevant to me that I get sick of hearing people even bring it up...
He has finally done something good for the people, if he should suddenly turn bright orange......... ..so what!!!!!!!!!!!!
everyone who pays attention to color over substance should get over it, appearances may or may not be deceptive whether its clothes, color of skin, sex, height......... .get it?????????
WATCH WHAT THEY DO NOT WHAT THEY SAY!!!!
 
 
+34 # Margaret Joehnck 2010-10-07 23:35
Way to go, Mr. President!
 
 
+33 # Raymond OBrien 2010-10-07 23:39
Congrats. Pres Obama. We can finally feel you took a bold stand for progressive values and personal "everydayman" rights over business interests of bad faith.
Thank you. More please!
 
 
+11 # AngryMan 2010-10-07 23:39
Finally, this is something for which I can commend the president. Thank you Mr. President!

I just hope this does not get rescinded after the upcoming election. If this turns out to be a ploy to curry favor for political gain, then all bets are off. I've seen this movie before and I am skeptical. One positive move does not a trend make. Ten positive moves in a row will get me back. Until then, I'll be watching.
 
 
0 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-10-08 21:27
Quoting AngryMan:
Finally, this is something for which I can commend the president. Thank you Mr. President!

I just hope this does not get rescinded after the upcoming election. If this turns out to be a ploy to curry favor for political gain, then all bets are off. I've seen this movie before and I am skeptical. One positive move does not a trend make. Ten positive moves in a row will get me back. Until then, I'll be watching.


I agree completely AngryMan...let' s wait and see what direction he takes after November.
 
 
+7 # beke 2010-10-07 23:47
That's what I'm talking about
 
 
+31 # Charles Ashmore 2010-10-07 23:56
I would love to have available a list of the members of both houses who voted for and against the bill, and think it should be published for easy public viewing. What a shameful move by both democratically controlled houses! especially when they refuse to bring so many bills to the floor because they don't think it is politically wise to force blue dogs and republicans to show their true sympathies through a vote.
 
 
0 # dusty boots 2010-10-13 00:04
Here's the website that tells you all the voting records: http://projects.washingtonpost.com/congress/

Very interesting!
 
 
+10 # Lisa Clark 2010-10-08 00:16
It's about freakin' time!
 
 
+11 # Michael Rogers 2010-10-08 00:16
This is a great first step! it would be better and more fair if because of the recession/ depression's fallen interest and the often sleazy manner that we were manipulated into obtaining mortgages if all mortgages were revalued to the current interest rate.
 
 
+3 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-10-08 21:29
Quoting Michael Rogers:
This is a great first step! it would be better and more fair if because of the recession/ depression's fallen interest and the often sleazy manner that we were manipulated into obtaining mortgages if all mortgages were revalued to the current interest rate.


Now THAT's a great policy proposal. Indeed, revalue all mortgages to current market values. Why shouldn't the banks have to take it in the shorts just like the rest of us, especially since they are a cause of so much of this grief.
 
 
+16 # Steven G. Horneffer 2010-10-08 00:49
About time he woke up and did something consistent with his campaign promises. Now if he will only end National security letters, detention without charge or hearing, spying on Americans, Guantanamo, DADT, defending our war criminals,and instead support infrastructure spending/jobs, renewable energy/jobs, the elimination of tax breaks for big oil and coal, pharma, insurance, banks, the military industrial complex and the billionaires that run/own them and get the $$$ out of politics, he'd have the most fired up base in the history of the party.
 
 
+14 # gretchen janssen 2010-10-08 05:41
Steven, aren't all those items exactly what he has been trying to do? He can't do it without support from other members of Congress, can he?
 
 
+1 # Daniel Fletcher 2010-10-08 21:31
Quoting gretchen janssen:
Steven, aren't all those items exactly what he has been trying to do? He can't do it without support from other members of Congress, can he?


Not at all correct. He has always had executive authority sufficient to force many issues with or without Congress approving. At the stroke of a pen he could nullify many of the policies of the prior administration and has so far done very little of that.
 
 
+31 # Andy Stricker 2010-10-08 01:21
Why isn't this on the front page of the papers and in the national news?
 
 
+16 # gretchen janssen 2010-10-08 05:40
Because the Republicans control much of it.
 
 
0 # Raleigh 2010-10-11 08:22
Have you lost all your marbles???
NY Times Republican leaning???
LA Times Republican Leaning???
Washington Post Republican leaning???
Huffington Post Republican leaning???
Chicago Any of them???

If this were REALLY a courageous act by the "Pres.", he would have Vetoed it directly and not just let it die by not signing it. NOT saying anything is NOT the same as making a courageous statement or stand against it!!!
 
 
+22 # ER444 2010-10-08 01:24
Finally !! Bravo, President Obama. Now, WTF is wrong with a Congress that would pass such a bill ???!!!
 
 
+17 # Hors-D-whores 2010-10-08 01:25
Maybe this is the beginning of some good stuff. Thank you Mr. President, keep it up.
 
 
-31 # Ned Boudreau 2010-10-08 01:42
Obama's "principled stand" is an act of pure desperation on the eve of mid-term elections. Note that the bill sailed through both houses of Congress, the members of which have all been purchased outright by vested interests.

Obama's "demur" is simply political showmanship. He has done absolutely nothing -- repeat, nothing -- to stem foreclosures, or to rein in Wall Street excess. Just follow the money: $4.7 trillion for the banks, a mere $75 billion in a flawed, ineffective program for Main Street.
 
 
+23 # genierae 2010-10-08 07:13
Obama went against his own party to do this, so how does this help the election? He also has done a lot to rein in Wall St., including serious credit card reform. And does the name Elizabeth Warren ring a bell? Its because of people like you that our country is in such a mess. Negative, hateful attitudes only divide the American people. And I see that I need to say this one more time: IT WAS BUSH WHO BAILED OUT THE BANKS!!!!! I wonder what you will say when the Republicans are back in charge, finishing the job that Bush began?
 
 
+20 # gretchen janssen 2010-10-08 05:39
This is the president I voted for.
 
 
+7 # Artur 2010-10-08 06:21
I'm a little surpried but grateful since Obama voted for the new FISA law giving criminal Bush a pass, getting him off the hook.. FOR HIS CRIMINALITY.he' s dealing with a corrupt congress. he knows that if he gos to far his life may be in danger from these slime.
 
 
+9 # cabotool 2010-10-08 06:47
My family has been in America for 160 years on my mother's side and since the time of the Pilgrims on my father's side. I was so discouraged by the direction I saw America going that I was planning to leave America, just as my Pilgrim ancestors left England. If Obama follows through on this, I will most likely stay in America.
 
 
+11 # Barbara Humphrey 2010-10-08 06:59
Thank you, President Obama, for standing up against the banks and with the people. May those legislators who voted for this legislation get their just reward on November 2.
 
 
+15 # JerryC 2010-10-08 08:24
Grateful for this bit of good news. Proud of our president for many reasons and thoroughly disgusted with Congress as a whole, for many reasons.

Many thousands of loan brokers, underwriters and lenders profited mightily by granting loans that should have never been written. So far their collusion in this crime is being swept under the rug. At a minimum they should be banned from their profession and forced to pay back commissions. A complete audit of every loan file should be prerequisite to foreclosure.
 
 
+13 # Tom ONeill 2010-10-08 08:30
While I left untouched the comments above that are negative--"it's just a ploy"--"he'll reverse it"--I have to admit once I understood what was in the works, I was so pleased I could hardly believe my eyes. Are we really seeing again the man we elected in 2008? I truly hope so. I added a thumbs-up to each of the many comments that said: "Go, Mr. President, go!" I have the feeling that Eric Holder might be a tough law-enforcement officer if he had a clear signal from the President. Also, re-negotiation of mortgages should have been a part of the original bank bail-out. Some want to say this was all Bush business. My memory of President-Elect Obama is that he had Geithner working hand-in-glove with Bush's Paulson, and that requirements for renegotiation of junk-mortgages were never promoted as a part of the package. Failure then to step into the foreclosure crisis was I think Barack Obama's original sin. If he's out to correct that now, it's very good news.
 
 
-18 # Paul Heise 2010-10-08 09:13
C'mon, lets not get too excited here.
Both houses can now go to their financial sector money sources and say they voted for it. But they knew he was going to veto so it was a free vote.
Obama gets to veto a bill that the congressional leadership never would have let come to his desk unless he wanted the chance to veto.
Everyday kind of politics.
 
 
+2 # Mike K 2010-10-09 18:19
Only one party is currently being funded by big business and that the GOTea party.
 
 
+7 # Realist 2010-10-08 10:13
Do you mind telling us which Democrats put this POS legistlature through for signing? Democrats want us all to support them and they do this crap? Why didn't Obama kick their butts to get some good bills through in the first place rather than vetoing this nightmarish bankster bill?
 
 
+14 # Anthony 2010-10-08 10:19
Congratulations Mr. President. By refusing to sign this stupid piece of legislation, you have guaranteed the owners of homes that are up for foreclosure, the means to keep their homes at least for the near future. Now, however, you must come up with a sensible
answer as to what you will do about this problem. I was in hopes that you would put a ban on Foreclosures thru 2011, and that would give the homeowners, a little room to work something out. You would also have the time to come up with the solution to this problem. Maybe the voters in this country will realize that you have no intention of ruining our system of Government and that you are working hard to solve these horrendous problems hat you inherited from the previous administration. Keep up the Good Work. But, let the voters know what you are doing. Don't keep it a secret. I am in earnest hope that you will obtain
a second term in the election of 2012.. For sure you have my vote....
 
 
+9 # JJ 2010-10-08 10:36
Seems to be the best kept secret in DC.
 
 
+12 # stillwalkn 2010-10-08 11:10
Thank you Barack Obama for refusing to play along with politics as usual. Leadership is what we have been wanting and waiting for.

But as happy as I am to see my President in action on behalf of the people, it disgusts me to note that this bill sailed through both houses of Congress, where the so-called "Party of the People" has control. Shame on all of you. You can bet I will be reviewing the voting records of all the representatives from my state, and I will vote accordingly.
 
 
+9 # fredboy 2010-10-08 11:36
Investigate and prosecute the banks for "no doc" orders they allegedly spread to their employees. Here's the deal: someone comes in a wants a mortgage. The banks offer a "no doc" or "no documentation" deal if the borrower allegedly makes less than $125,000. So did banks tell employees to keep the application under the salary cap so they would not have to verify the claimed income amount? And, in effect, automatically issue the loan? The results: lots and lots of bad loans leading to foreclosures. But the banks, who simply bundled and sold the loans, got their fees!
Check it out.
 
 
+10 # Bill Blau 2010-10-08 11:39
Marc... I find that your article falls short in not identifying the Democrats who are heads and members of the House and Senate committees that passed this repulsive legislation. Bill Blau
 
 
+12 # Nancy Wang 2010-10-08 12:05
I love this president and he is human, y'all. We have no idea what he's up against. Every time I see a pic of him I'm reminded of what a kind, compassionate and intelligent man he is. Good leaders are made better by good supporters. We need to support him in all his efforts. We need to let him know we're behind him and want him to continue doing what's right for America and not those greedy horned corporations and religious hateful fanatics. Pres. Obama is the best!
 
 
+3 # genierae 2010-10-09 11:18
Bravo!
 
 
+3 # Foxtrottango 2010-10-08 17:15
His biggest mistake, bail out the friggin banks at the expense of the American tax payers. The banks became even more greedy than ever before. The facts, they are keeping the money to themselves to discredit the Obama Administration and more likely will come loose when Republicans get control.

How's that for a conspiracy?
 
 
+2 # genierae 2010-10-10 06:47
The banks were bailed out at the end of the BUSH ADMINISTRATION. However, nearly every economist agreed that it had to be done, or we would now be in another great depression. And since the American people, as a group, don't bother to get their facts straight before they jump to conclusions, they blame Democrats for the bail-out, and for the recession that Bush and co. caused. Only in America do we have such warped ignorance.
 
 
+7 # Bruce Gruber 2010-10-08 18:54
From THE WEBOFDEBT.com:
"The latest of these court decisions came down in California on May 20, 2010, in a bankruptcy case called In re Walker, Case no. 10-21656-E–11. The court held that MERS could not foreclose because it was a mere nominee; and that as a result, plaintiff Citibank could not collect on its claim.
.. no evidence of MERS’ ownership of the underlying note (is)offered,.. other courts have concluded that MERS does not own the underlying notes, this court is convinced that MERS had no interest it could transfer to Citibank. .. without ownership of the underlying note is void under California law."
Wall Street manipulation of legalized gambling cannot record the PROPER documents in thousands of courthouses across America and prevent citizens from growing awareness of the importance of owning politicians. Hooray for Obama!
 
 
+6 # leslie 2010-10-08 21:31
Anyone needing some investigative information regarding the following lenders, brokers, servicers, foreclosure mills, Title Companies, officers and notaries:
Goldman Sachs
Litton Loan Servicing
HSBC
Fremont Reorganizing
LPS Title Company
The Wolf Firm, A Law Corp
Marti Noriega
Debra Lyman
John Crandall
Brenda Mckinzy
Leigh Blackwell
Daniella Marie Garrett
Melissa Bell
Go to the link below:
https://fdaaccount.box.net/shared/a1pjz9sz5c
 

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