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Brokers are required to pay a $15 annual license fee; real-estate salesmen a $5 annual license fee. The present real-estate broker's fee in the District of Columbia is $50; but inasmuch as most realestate firms will require several broker's licenses under the new law, as well as a number of salesmen's licenses, it has been thought equitable to fix the broker's license fee at $15. It is not believed that this will result in the loss of revenue to the District.
The licenses issued will expire yearly, but will be subject to revocation at any time. Revocation can be made, however, only after presentation of charges, and a public hearing granted the licensee. The grounds for revocation are stated in the bill and include substantial misrepresentation by the broker or salesman, false or fraudulent promises, acting for more than one party in a transaction without the knowledge of all, failure to account for money or property, incompetency endangering the public interests, dishonest conduct.
Nonresidents may be licensed upon substantially the same terms as residents of the District, but must file a consent to service so that they may be sued within the District of Columbia by service upon the secretary of the real-estate commission.
The bill will help to end present usurious practices of certain money, lenders, who while now licensed as real-estate brokers are subject to no regulation or supervision whatever. The bill, if enacted, will place under supervision those who lend money on second and third trusts on real estate; make it possible to discover by means of examination of books, records, etc., whether usurious rates of interest, commissions, etc., are being exacted, whether foreclosures are being made without adequate notice, and make possible revocation of licenses for improper conduct of such persons.
VALIDITY OF LAW
The courts of many States, and the United States Supreme Court, have upheld the validity of laws similar to the bill hereby reported.
At hearings upon the bill, both by the Senate and House District Committees, there was no opposition, except an individual protest against the provision relating to fictitious sales and loans. Enactment of such a bill is urged by the District attorney, Real Estate Board, Better Business Bureau, and others interested in the prevention of fraud.
While fraud can now be punished and redress obtained through the processes of the civil and criminal laws, such processes are slow and uncertain. The transactions complained of are often intricate and obscure; the District attorney's office is overcrowded with other and more important matters; and during the long period of time required to bring to justice those guilty of dishonest conduct in connection with real estate transactions, they can continue to operate and to defraud others. The bill hereby reported is intended, therefore, to prevent as well as to punish fraud.
A bill practically identical in its provisions (H. R. 10476) has been favorably reported by the House District Committee, and is now on the calendar of the House of Representatives.
The penalties provided by the bill, in addition to denial of or revocation of licenses, are a fine of not more than $500, imprisonment of not more than six months (or both) and loss of commission on sales or leases negotiated.
Your committee is of the opinion that there is real need for a law to protect the people of the District of Columbia from fraudulent and dishonest conduct in the real estate business, and that the bill reported will be effective for the public protection.
(Senate Resolution No. 58. Seventy-first Congress, first session Whereas it is alleged that many millions of dollars of real-estate mortgage notes and bonds, secured by trust deed or otherwise, on real estate within the District of Columbia, have been issued, in excess of the value of the properties so mortgaged, and which securities have been sold throughout the United States through alleged questionable means and methods, to innocent purchasers, and that purchasers of homes and other real estate are denied their day in court in default of their payment of principal or interest; and
Whereas the laws for the District of Columbia are either absent or ineffective for the protection of innocent purchasers of such securities and homes and real estate, in the following particulars, namely:
(a) No adequate law relating to the issuance and sale of stocks, bonds, and mortgages, and other securities, as affecting real estate or otherwise;
(6) No law inhibiting unethical, unfair, and unscrupulous real-estate and finance operators; and
(c) No law providing for an orderly foreclosure of trust deeds, mortgages, or contracts relating to the purchase and sale of real estate, through court procedure: Therefore be
Resolved, That the Committee on the District of Columbia, or a duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is hereby authorized and directed to make a full and complete investigation in respect to the several matters hereinbefore set forth, including the issuance and methods of sal of stocks, bonds, or other securities of a different character than heretofore stated, and other relative or similar matters, and to report to the Senate as soon as practicable the result of its investigations, together with its recommendations, if any, for necessary legislation. For the purposes of this resolution the committee, or any duly authorized subcommittee thereof, is authorized to hold hearings, to sit and act at such times and places during the sessions and recesses of the Senate in the Seventy-first Congress until the final report is submitted, to employ such clerical and other assistants, to require by subpoena or otherwise the attendance of such witnesses and the production of such books, papers, and documents, to administer such oaths, and to take such testimony and make such expenditures as it deems advisable. The cost of stenographic services to report such hearings shall not be in excess of 25 cents per hundred words. The expenses of the committee, which shall not exceed $2,500, shall be paid from the contingent fund of the Senate upon vouchers approved by the chairman.
REPORT No. 676
DESTRUCTION OF DUPLICATE ACCOUNTS IN OFFICES OF
CLERKS OF UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS
May 19, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. WATERMAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted the
(To accompany H. R. 5261)
The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the bill (H. R. 5261) to authorize the destruction of duplicate accounts and other papers filed in the offices of clerks of the United States district courts, reports the same favorably to the Senate and recommends that the bill do pass with the following amendment:
On page 2, line 7, after the words, "ten years”, insert the words "after final disposition of such proceedings".
The committee considers this amendment necessary as a precaution against the premature destruction of papers in those cases where final disposition has been delayed to an unusual extent.
Reasons in support of this legislation are given in the following excerpt from the House report on this measure:
This bill will merely authorize the destruction of duplicate accounts, not in cases, which have been on file for 10 years or more, the further retention of which will serve no useful purpose, to be destroyed upon the recommendation of the clerk of the district court and with the approval of the senior district judge of the district and the Attorney General. The bill will afford more ample filing space for the clerks of the courts by permitting the elimination of large quantities of useJess duplicate papers relating to the accounts of United States marshals, attorneys, clerks, and commissioners. The bill is recommended by the Federal Clerks' Association and by the Attorney General.
Section 2 of the bill provides for a similar procedure for the destruction of proofs of claims filed in bankruptcy cases which have remained on file for a period of 10 years.
Mr. WATERMAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted
(To accompany S. 1916)
The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the bill (S. 1916) to amend section 1025 of the Revised Statutes so as to permit the attendance of clerks or stenographers before grand juries during the taking of testimony, reports the same to the Senate without amendment and recommends that the bill do pass.
The purpose of this legislation is simply to permit the presence of stenographers in grand jury rooms without the necessity of appointing such stenographers as special assistant United States attorneys. Under the existing rules and practice in certain districts, the presence of stenographers in grand jury rooms is prohibited except under appointments as indicated above.
The attitude of the Department of Justice toward this legislation is indicated by the following paragraph from a letter from the Attorney General under date of November 14, 1928:
The need for clerical assistance to prosecuting officers before the grand juries has been clearly demonstrated. At the same time, there is a conflict of legal decision as to the right, under existing law to permit stenographers in grand jury rooms, without invalidating the subsequent conviction of defendants. This conflict of opinion may be settled and much needed aid given Government prosecuting officers by the enactment of the proposed legislation, and I therefore venture to express the hope that the Senate Judiciary Committee will make an early and favorable report on the bill.
This bill is identical with H. R. 9785, Seventieth Congress, which passed the House of Representatives on January 25, 1928.
Following is a statement of the said section 1025 as proposed to be amended by this bill, such amendment being printed in italics:
Sec. 1025. No indictment found and presented by a grand jury in any district or other court of the United States shall be deemed insufficient, nor shall the trial, judgment, or other proceeding thereon be affected by reason of any defect or imperfection matter of form only, which shall not tend to the prejudice of the defendant, or by reason of the attendance before the grand jury during the taking of testimony of one or more clerks or stenographers employed in a clerical capacity to assist the district attorney or other counsel for the Government who shall, in ihat connection, be deemed to be persons acting for and on behalf of the United States in an official capacity and function.
REPORT No. 678
PROVIDING FOR PUNISHMENT OF ASSAULTS UPON
LETTER OR MAIL CARRIERS
May 19, 1930.-Ordered to be printed
Mr. WATERMAN, from the Committee on the Judiciary, submitted
(To accompany S. 1933)
The Committee on the Judiciary, having had under consideration the bill (S. 1933) providing for the punishment of assaults upon letter or mail carriers, reports the same adversely to the Senate and recommends that the bill do not pass.
The committee is of the opinion that letter and mail carriers are sufficiently protected by the laws of the various States against assaults, and it is deemed neither necessary nor desirable to make such acts Federal offenses.