Thursday, October 09, 2008

County Sheriff Suspends All Chicago-Area Foreclosure Evictions; Points To Problem Of Unsatisfactory Notice To Occupants As Reason

In Chicago, Illinois, the Journal Gazette reports:
  • The sheriff here said Wednesday that he's ordering his deputies to stop evicting people from foreclosed properties because many people his office has helped throw out on the street are renters who did nothing wrong. "We will no longer be a party to something that's so unjust," a visibly angry Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said at a news conference. "We have to be sure that when we are doing this - and we are destroying some people's lives - we better be darned sure we're talking about the right people," Dart said.


  • Dart said that from now on, banks will have to present his office with a court affidavit that proves the home's occupant is either the owner or has been properly notified of the foreclosure proceedings.


  • He talked about tenants who dutifully pay their rent, then leave one morning for work only to have authorities evict them and put their belongings on the curb while they are gone. By the time they get home, "The meager possessions they have are gone," he said. "This is happening too often."


  • Dart said he believes banks are not doing basic research to determine that the people being evicted are, in fact, the homeowners. He said that in a third of the 400 to 500 foreclosure evictions his deputies had been carrying out every month, the residents are not those whose names are on the eviction papers. Nor, he said, are banks notifying tenants that the homes they're renting are in foreclosure. He added that when banks do learn the correct names of those living on foreclosed-upon property, their names often are simply added to eviction papers.

For more, see Chicago's Cook County won't evict in foreclosures.

See also, The New York Times: Sheriff in Chicago Ends Evictions in Foreclosures.

For more on the reported (up until now) ongoing problem of illegal foreclosure evictions in Cook County, Illinois, see: