A bill that would make it more difficult to challenge the legality of documents related to foreclosures has passed Congress and is awaiting President Barack Obama's signature.
The bill was passed through Congress with minimal debate, Reuters reported. It would require courts to accept as valid document notarizations made out of state, Reuters said. That would make it more difficult to challenge the authenticity of documents related to foreclosures.
Lenders are expected to foreclose on 1.2 million homes this year, as high unemployment and sagging home values leave many borrowers unable or unwilling to pay their mortgages.
Advocates for homeowners say that many of the documents involved in these foreclosures were improperly prepared. Lenders GMAC Mortgage and JPMorgan (JPM) have halted foreclosures in some states while they deal with the documentation issue.
"It is troubling to me and curious that it passed so quietly," Thomas Cox, a Maine lawyer representing homeowners told Reuters.
The White House said it is reviewing the legislation.
The new legislation would make it more difficult to challenge documentation presented by large, out-of-state companies, Cox told Reuters.
The bill passed the Senate on Sept. 27, the day before recess. It was passed with unanimous consent, without the Senate Judiciary committee acting on it.