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Last EditedRP  Oct 08, 2008 07:11pm
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News DateThursday, October 9, 2008 01:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWith Cook County on pace to conduct a record number of evictions this year – and an unprecedented number of evictions due to mortgage foreclosures – Cook County Sheriff Thomas J. Dart announced Wednesday he is suspending all foreclosure evictions.

The move comes as a result of the growing number of evictions that involve renters – most of whom are dutifully paying their rent every month, only to later learn their landlord has fallen behind on mortgage payments and the building has gone into foreclosure. While mortgage companies are supposed to conduct a basic due diligence investigation before requesting an eviction – identifying all occupants – sheriff’s deputies are regularly finding no work done by the mortgage company in advance, leaving the identifying work to deputies working at taxpayer expense.

“These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don’t care who’s in the building,” Dart said. “They simply want their money and don’t care who gets hurt along the way. On top of it all, they want taxpayers to fund their investigative work for them. We’re not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We’re just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today.”

Dart - believed to be the first sheriff of a major metropolitan area to take such a step - said he wants a safety net to be established either by the judiciary or state Legislature, to protect those most harmed by the mortgage crisis.
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