How The Controversial Foreclosure Bill Made It Through Congress With No Public Debate

From the Huffington Post, by Arthur Delaney, which includes a nice quote by Max.

… Why did the world’s greatest deliberative body let it get through this time?

It happened because Calvin Coolidge, the 30th president of the United States, was a notary public from Vermont, according to Judiciary Committee aides.

It all started, the aides said, when committee chairman Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) participated in an Aug. 3 “Why Coolidge Matters” event with the National Notary Association at the Library of Congress. “Senator Leahy was so very gracious to carve out some of his time to join us at the Library of Congress event, and we are grateful for his kind words regarding Calvin Coolidge as well as his support of the important roles played by Notaries Public,” wrote Michael Robinson, executive director of the National Notary Association, in a Sep. 14 email to Leahy’s office. Robinson asked if anyone from Leahy’s office would be interested in H.R. 3808, the notarization bill that had passed the House of Representatives by a voice vote in the springtime.

“In September, after hearing from the National Notary Association….Senator Leahy, in consultation with the Committee’s Ranking Member, Senator Jeff Sessions, examined the legislation,” Judiciary Committee aides wrote in an email. “Having heard no objections from advocates, States or stakeholders, and having checked with the Department of Justice, the bill was discharged from the Judiciary Committee. It was passed with the unanimous consent after every Senate office was notified that it was being considered and there were no objections.” …

Max Gardner, a foreclosure defense attorney in Florida, isn’t satisfied that the bill’s passage is owed simply to effective lobbying by the Notary Association. “If Senator Sessions was in any way involved in this matter, then it makes me very suspicious that the mortgage servicing industry was really behind the effort to quietly push this bill through the Congress,” Gardner wrote in an email to HuffPost. “Senator Sessions has been the strongest advocate AGAINST allowing consumers to modify first mortgage loans in bankruptcy and against all pro-consumers statutes for that matter. I blame Calvin Coolidge for a lot, but not for this bill.”

Sessions’ office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.