Chicago Sheriff Halts Foreclosure Evictions, Won't Toss Innocent Renters

Chicago’s sheriff has placed a moratorium on evictions for mortgage foreclosures, angering bankers who say he’s breaking the law.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he understood he was flouting the law in refusing to have deputies carry out the rising number of eviction requests, but mortgage holders must be accountable.

“These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don’t care who’s in the building,” Dart said.

By halting the evictions, he’s preventing about 500 notices that were scheduled over the next 6 weeks.

Mortgage foreclosure cases filed in Cook County are likely to exceed 43,000 this year, compared to some 18,000 in 2006, the sheriff said.

The president of the Illinois Bankers Association, Linda Koch, points out that they have to have the ability to “take over collateral upon default” or they won’t make loans—which of course is absolutely true, but may not be the most realistic, or humane, or in this case enforceable, position at this moment in our country’s history.

Update: I have edited the headline to include a reference to renters, because my original post didn’t explicitly mention this and it’s important to the story.

“Sheriff in Chicago halts foreclosure evictions” [Reuters]
(Photo: Getty)

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  1. shorty63136 says:

    More from CNN:

    The Illinois Bankers Association opposed the plan, saying that Dart “was elected to uphold the law and to fulfill the legal duties of his office, which include serving eviction notices.”

    The association said Dart could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court eviction orders.

    “The reality is that by ignoring the law and his legal responsibilities, he is carrying out ‘vigilantism’ at the highest level of an elected official,” it said. “The Illinois banking industry is working hard to help troubled homeowners in many ways, but Sheriff Dart’s declaration of ‘martial law’ should not be tolerated.”

    Dart was undeterred Thursday.

    “I think the outrage on my part with them [is] that they could so cavalierly issue documents and have me throw people out of homes who have done absolutely nothing wrong,” Dart said. “They played by all the rules.
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    “I told them, ‘You send an agent out, you send somebody out that gives me any type of assurance that the appropriate person is in the house, I will fulfill the order.’

    “When you’re blindly sending me out to houses where I’m coming across innocent tenant after innocent tenant, I can’t keep doing this and have a good conscience about it.”

    • @shorty63136: To clarify the “these people have done nothing wrong” comment, Dart is talking about people renting homes that have been foreclosed on, and who have not been alerted by the owner of the property.

      • wgrune says:

        @Chris Walters:

        Oh, well that makes more sense. I appologize for my misplaced rant then. I assumed he was talking about actual homeowners.

        • OletheaEurystheus says:

          @wgrune: No and thats a major problem, a large number of these homes have been rentals and neither the homeowners which have fled nor the banks have contacted the renters which is required by law. The renters have 30 days notice yet are just being thrown out of the houses without the notices.

          • @OletheaEurystheus: I believe in Chicago renters get 120 days (tied to the 90 days notice the owners get).

            He notes in several articles I read that 1/3 of the eviction notices he is being asked to enforce are improper, which is a problem that SHOULD be being solved at the court level but obviously isn’t. The banks are filing sworn statements that are either false or deliberate lies and clearly aren’t bothering to investigate the property’s situation and be sure process has been properly served.

            When 1/3 of them are improper (and therefore unenforceable), I actually don’t think it’s that unreasonable for him to refuse to enforce them until the banks start filing things properly or the courts start holding them to task. It’s not like all of those 1/3 are from the same couple of offenders; ALL of the banks are offending. He and his deputies aren’t responsible for chasing down the veracity of the banks’ filings and correcting their process errors.

            The Chicago Tribune also noted that when he notified the filing bank and court of an error in process, the bank attempted to have him held in contempt for refusing to follow through on an improper eviction (the court refused). Obviously they aren’t interested in fixing the problem or complying with the law. Another article noted that the real estate lobby and banks defeated his attempt last year to get social services involved earlier in the process when there were children or elderly renters involved who’d had no notice and now had no home.

      • Keavy_Rain says:

        @Chris Walters:
        That’s a very important detail that the post above leaves out.

        Just going by the information above it sounds like he’s against issuing these notices regardless of whether or not these people are the homeowners.

        Knowing what I know now I agree with the Sheriff in this case. It isn’t going to kill the bank to do a bit of research and properly notify renters if needed nor are they to blame.

    • wgrune says:

      @shorty63136:

      “…throw people out of homes who have done absolutely nothing wrong,” Dart said. “They played by all the rules.”.

      Except, you know, PAYING YOUR MORTGAGE. Nothing wrong? I might be crazy but to me, not paying bills you agreed to pay IS WRONG!

      • attackgypsy says:

        @wgrune: What he is talking about is innocent tenants. People who rent the place from the landlord/owner, who didn’t pay the mortgage. Not the owners. The tenants know nothing about any of this. They aren’t sent a letter, nobody calls them. They are just suddenly thrown out.

        Fortunately, I had a different experience. My wife and I rented a condo, and a year later, it was foreclosed on. The bank mailed me a letter, then came to the condo to talk with me, and we worked out an arrangement where, with proper notice (24 hours), I would let people in to look at the condo. In exchange, they agreed to no rent and 30 days notice before the owner took control. Worked out well, and after almost 6 months, the new owner turned out to be a real nice guy. We stayed there another 3 years before moving because we outgrew the place.

      • pigbearpug says:

        @wgrune: Did you RTFA? They were renters. Their landlord is the idiot who got in over his head, not them.

        • wgrune says:

          @pigbearpug: ]

          OH MY GOD! The original article didn’t reference renters unless you followed the links. I realized this, and appologized almost immediately. Did you RMFC??

      • The Porkchop Express says:

        @wgrune: renters don’t have a mortgage to pay

      • jaypee68 says:

        @wgrune:

        The people who are being evicted are not the ones that aren’t paying the mortgage, it’s the landlord’s who are not paying the mortgage.

        The Sheriff is trying to protect the renters, not the owners of the houses.

    • katylostherart says:

      @shorty63136: this is a good thing. at least, don’t kick them out with winter coming on. maybe the banks should think about letting them pay rent straight to the bank while they find other places to live. you’d think they’d be glad to have an easy way to recoup their losses.

  2. sleze69 says:

    After the courts order him to resume his foreclosures, I am sure he will become “more thorough” and only do one every day or two. I think legally he can require the banks to actually do their job and identify who the residents are before he evicts them.

    Bureaucracy can sometimes be a good thing.

    • socalrob of the 24 and a half century says:

      @sleze69:
      To me though, this seems like a waste of his time. Not what you said, but the whole thing in general.

      What you said makes sense. At least that way he doesn’t seem completely like he doesn’t want to do it.

      • @socalrob: From experience, evictions aren’t the sheriff’s office’s favorite thing. On the one hand, they mostly just have to stand there and they rarely become violent (although occasionally they do). On the other hand, you often have EXTREMELY upset people who are wailing and moaning, and evictees are generally either being SCREWED by their landlords or are people whose lives are in a catastrophic mess — pitiable in either case and upsetting to observe. And it keeps them away from “more important” work.

        I live in a small county and it typically takes several days to get a sheriff scheduled to come assist an eviction when it’s necessary. I always feel bad for them. But then, I always feel bad for me when I have to do an eviction (as the lawyer) that gets to the point where we have to have the sheriff there to evict. They’re just not pleasant. (I’ve only done them for small landlords, people who own a four-unit apartment building or a couple of rental houses.)

  3. Murdermonkey says:

    Fuck Yeah!!!!

  4. windycity says:

    I’m not sure you can tell from the post, but the reason he has halted the evictions is because of all the renters he’s tossing out. He goes to homes and condos and finds out that the owner doesn’t live there and that the renters have never been given notice of the eviction and the banks seeking the foreclosure have not done their due diligence to determine who is living in the building.

    The sheriff wrote this [www.suntimes.com] in the Sun Times today to explain.

  5. This man is no vigilante … he is a decent human being!

  6. DallasPath says:

    Isn’t it a legal requirement that the banks verify who is actually living in the property and notify them?

    The original article states that:

    “But some landlords disappear without notifying tenants, or tenants may be tossing out eviction notices in the mail without realizing what they are, said Linda Koch, president of the Illinois Bankers Association.”

    Um, what the heck are you mailing the eviction notices in that people would be throwing them away?

    • theblackdog says:

      @DallasPath: They probably have the landlords name on them instead of the renter’s so they think it’s junk, or they can’t find their landlord for whatever reason, so they toss it.

    • balthisar says:

      @DallasPath: Probably in a bank envelope that’s not their bank. If I receive mail from, say, 5th/3d, it goes right into the trash can, because it’s not my bank, and so it must be junk. Anything important will be registered.

      • DallasPath says:

        @balthisar:

        That’s what I figured…that they would have to use registered/certified to prove that they notified someone. It seems obvious to me that the banks aren’t following the law and doing their due diligence on the evictions….oh wait, looking at the current mortage crisis, they’ve never really done their due diligence on anything, have they?

    • humphrmi says:

      @DallasPath: Actually, in Cook County, all notices of eviction are supposed to be delivered either in person, or via a process server or traceable mail. And that notice is supposed to be the start of a process that includes the courts, and a judge actually issuing an eviction order. Private citizens cannot issue eviction orders in Cook County.

      I believe that part of the problem is that the courts are inundated with foreclosure evictions and judges are just trying to get them off their dockets quickly.

      So in that respect, Sheriff Dart is not “flouting” the law, he’s simply forcing the courts to do their job (i.e. not issue an eviction order unless the proper paperwork has been filed.) The problem is that today, none of this paperwork gets done, banks just go to the Sheriff and say “Please evict” and expect the Sheriff to do their bidding.

      So Dart is really just putting the whole process back where it belongs (at least in Cook County): in the courtroom, with proper notice and the opportunity for the tenant to respond.

    • cerbie says:

      @DallasPath: maybe pre-sorted envelopes that don’t mention a company or anything; just an out of state PO box, like credit card and loan offers tend to be in? I get several per week (mostly CC offers).

      But, if the people are not notified, then I say, “go, Sheriff!” I can only imagine what it would be like to think everything is going fine, then have a weird month or so w/ your land lord, and then you have the Sheriff at your door, or come home to a house being emptied of your stuff.

    • BStu says:

      @DallasPath: If the notice is addressed to their landlord, even if they keep it, they can’t really legally open it. If its addressed to them, they are liable to assume its junk mail and shred it sight unseen. Some people do that to all mail from parties they don’t do business with.

    • @DallasPath: “Um, what the heck are you mailing the eviction notices in that people would be throwing them away?”

      In Illinois, you hardly get to serve anything by mail (in my county, literally nothing. It’s a royal PITA). It varies a little from county to county, but eviction notices are typically served in person. So they’re just not bothering to serve process at all.

  7. lifestar says:

    I don’t necessarily think that what he is doing is right or wrong, but it does highlight the reality that ultimately those who have to do the actual “dirty work” still have a choice in whether they listen to those who issue orders or not.

    It’s funny how we place such an emphasis on what the “law” says, but the courts have no power unless the actual law ENFORCERS are willing to comply. Case in point, President Andrew Jackson after learning off a Supreme Court decision basically said “that’s great” and then went and purposely not enforce the judges’ ruling.

    If the current housing market continues down this path, I think we shouldn’t be surprise to hear more and more law officials who will purposely ignore the court orders in order to abide to their consciences.

    • ARP says:

      @lifestar: Actually, he is enforcing the law, but he’s also making sure that the banks follow the law to the strictly interpreted letter. So, if they didn’t provide sufficient notice to the occupants (i.e. renters), he won’t enforce the eviction and the bank will have to start the process over again. It’s like the DMV, make one small technical mistake and you go to the back of the line.

      • Pylon83 says:

        @ARP:
        Technical compliance with the law is not his call to make. The banks go to the court and get an eviction order. It is the court system’s job to make sure that the bank complied with everything before they issue the eviction order. This simply isn’t the Sheriff’s job, and it’s completely ridiculous.

        • JustinAche says:

          @Pylon83: Well, checks and balances. His job is to enforce the law. If the law is not being followed, by the banks, by the courts, he can’t comply. If the courts are pushing through paperwork that normally wouldn’t have gone through, well, guess what, back to start, get the paperwork in order first.

        • cerbie says:

          @Pylon83: BS. It is his job to make sure that the order he gets is one he should enforce. He was elected by those people he’s kicking out, and in doing so, is violating law that provides them specific rights. The Sheriff is a representative and custodian of the people, not merely muscle. If the tenant should be notified X days before-hand, and they weren’t, he should have every right to tell the court and banks where to shove that eviction paper. Whether it is technically legal for him to do so, now that is an issue for the courts. Blind obediance to authority is always wrong (and yes, I’m fond of Heinlein—why do you ask? :)).

        • barty says:

          @Pylon83: You’d be wrong. As part of the executive branch of government, a sheriff has leeway in deciding how to enforce the law, or in this case, a court order. If he sees a flaw in the court order, or it just doesn’t make good common sense (remember that??) he doesn’t have to enforce it.

          I do believe that he needs to take action against actual homeowners, regardless of their financial state. Right now I’m not having much sympathy for folks who either bought too much house or thought they had some kind of “right” to home ownership and to this point have expected the government at any level to keep them in that home as long as possible.

        • CrowMignon says:

          @Pylon83: So he would be able to use the “I was just following orders” excuse? How’d that work out in Nuremberg?

          • Red_Flag says:

            @CrowMignon: I realize the thread has already been Godwin’d to death, but can we please try to keep the Long Knives down to a dull roar?

            The fact of the matter is – a district attorney is not forced to bring charges. A police officer is not forced to make an arrest. A sheriff is not forced to serve evictions. They have an amount of discretion in their office, and the level of that discretion is up to a) their employers and b) the courts. For Sheriff Dart, his employers are the voters of Cook Country. And I’m sure the courts will either work out a deal with Dart or rule one or the other on whether or not he has the power to do this.

            I for one, thing that even if he doesn’t, while these situations are being in resolved, it’s better for him to err on the side of caution and not evict innocent renters.

    • Erwos says:

      @lifestar: The problem with just doing what your conscience tells you is that they may not have the same conscience you do. Consider, for example, pharmacists refusing to fulfill orders for contraceptives or even abortion drugs (RU-486 or whatever). I would not be shocked to hear many people applauding this sheriff’s actions would not be so thrilled about the pharmacist case – yet the logic promoting their freedoms is exactly the same, give or take.

      I am sympathetic to his position, but also wonder if he’s overstepping his bounds by not complying with his court-mandated orders.

      • BrianDaBrain says:

        @Erwos: Actually, the logic governing those “freedoms” is not the same. It is illegal for a pharmacist to refuse to fulfill orders. In the sheriff’s case, the bank is breaking the law by not filing the proper paperwork and/or the courts are not upholding the law by allowing these incomplete evictions to go through. The sheriff is upholding the law, whereas the pharmacist is breaking it. Big difference.

        And no, I don’t believe he’s overstepping his bounds. Our government is (supposed to be) based on checks and balances. When the courts/banks become lazy and don’t do the proper paperwork to evict a tenant, it is his civic responsibility to throw that back up and say, “Hey, you’re doing this wrong. Fix it”.

        • Erwos says:

          @BrianDaBrain: It is _not_ illegal for the pharmacist to not fulfill those orders. In fact, that right is specifically protected by federal law.

          And, again, you’re making a value judgment. In some people’s opinions, the executive branch completely ignoring the legal branch would be the bigger problem. Or do you support the current president’s ability to ignore the judiciary as he pleases?

  8. junip says:

    this story makes me happy – in the sense that at least someone is being responsible. It’s true, you can’t kick the tenants out like this because the owner defaulted. They have rights. And you can’t keep the sheriff busy running around doing the bank’s work to figure out whether the person living at these houses is an owner or a tenant.

  9. Pylon83 says:

    This is complete and total BS. The Sheriff wasn’t enacted to decide what the law is or to make policy decisions. His job is to enforce the law, including court orders, whether he likes it or not. Things like this, if not very quickly squashed, set dangerous precedents. What if the Sheriff next decides that he doesn’t think it should be illegal to drink and drive, or to steal stuff worth less than $100? He needs to be removed from office for this, as it is wholly unacceptable. It sucks that people are getting kicked out of rental property, but it’s not the Sheriff’s job to make a moral judgment that it’s wrong. That is the Legislatures job. I realize this guy is on the front lines and sees the destruction, but if he can’t take the heat of the job, maybe it’s time to find a new line of work. This kind of vigilante justice sickens me and requires swift and firm action to squash.

    • khiltd says:

      @Pylon83:

      Yeah OK Hitler.

    • @Pylon83:
      So you’re going to bankroll the hours put in by the additional Sheriff’s Deputies they’ll need to hire to handle all these pointless visits to rented homes?

      • Pylon83 says:

        @YourTechSupport:
        My point is simply that this is not his call to make. People want to make moral or economic judgments on his conduct without considering whether or not he actually has the power to do this. He doesn’t. If we allow elected officials to take power that they are not granted by the Constitution (state or local), or statutes enacted in accordance with such, it will begin a breakdown of ordered government. What the Sheriff is doing is not something that he is legally allowed to do. His job, the job he was elected to do, was to ENFORCE the law, not to interpret it.

        • Mr_D says:

          @Pylon83: He is enforcing the law, though. The law requires sufficient notice by the lenders of a foreclosure and eviction, and he seems to think this isn’t happening. Is it? That’s not for me to say. If everything is in order, burn him at the stake. Until we can prove that, why don’t we side with the little guy?

        • OletheaEurystheus says:

          @Pylon83: Actually it IS his call to make. He would be breaking the law by ejecting people who have not been properly notified. This is a sticky situation since technically the banks and courts have broken the law the courts themselves have enacted. The Sherif is holding to a higher courts ruling over the municipal courts.

        • @Pylon83:
          Okay. I see you point now.
          But I can see him taking his time to get around to them.
          He’ll be busy with riots and horsemen.

    • Orv says:

      @Pylon83: You don’t get it. He is doing his job; it’s the banks that aren’t doing theirs. The legal requirement is that tenants be notified before the eviction. That’s not happening. In some cases he’s pointed out to banks that the tenants haven’t been notified, and the banks have simply added the tenants to the court order without notifying them. If the banks aren’t following the rules for a legal eviction, why should he carry it out?

      • @Pylon83:

        I am completely with Pylon83 on this.

        Renters have very little, if any rights when it comes to a foreclosed (defaulted) property.

        When the property owner defaults on his mortage, the bank needs to notify the owners 120 days before taking possesion of the property–which they did.

        It sucks that renters are in these houses, really. But they have an issue with the landlord/defaulted property owner–not the bank who met the requirements.

        It is not up to some county sheriff to “interpet” a very clear course of action. And, as Pylon suggested, maybe he should find a new line of work.

        But the banks DO OWN these homes, and the people living there have no agreement to be in them.

        • DallasPath says:

          @CreativeLinks:

          Actually, if you read the article, you’ll find that the law has changed and the mortage holder has to notify BOTH the property owner(landlord) as well as the person living in the property. So the renters do in fact have rights in this situation.

          • @DallasPath:

            I did read the article, and I belive you are referring to this line:

            “Illinois law was recently revised to require the owner of the property and mortgage holder to notify whoever lives there 120 days before an eviction is carried out.”

            And the bank (the Mortgage holder) claim they are notifying tenants that a foreclosure is in place by sending notification to the address.

            The law just says you have to notify tenants 120 days out. That’s it. That’s really not much of a right.

        • gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

          @CreativeLinks: I think you are misinterpreting the law. The law SAYS THEY HAVE TO NOTIFY THE RENTER. Not that the deadbeat landlord has to notify them. I swear some people on here just troll bullshit.

        • @CreativeLinks: “It sucks that renters are in these houses, really. But they have an issue with the landlord/defaulted property owner–not the bank who met the requirements.”

          The bank is NOT meeting the requirements, and ONE THIRD of the evictions are being improperly served. This isn’t a small handful. This is ONE THIRD of his orders, from a variety of banks, that haven’t served proper notice. He can’t POSSIBLY be responsible for sorting out which ones are proper and improper when a full third of them are improper. That’s a systemic problem at the level of the bank and/or courts.

    • ThickSkinned says:

      @Pylon83: Looks like grandpa’s been drinking again

    • Cavinicus says:

      @Pylon83: As was pointed out earlier, the Illinois legislature did take action. Under the Illinois Compiled Statutes, the banks are required to give tenants notice so that the innocent are not punished for the malfeasance of their landlords. Instead, banks have either added tenants’ names to foreclosure proceedings without giving notice to the tenants (similar to me filing suit against you, not notifying you, and taking a default judgement) or ignored the tenants altogether, effectivley treating them like squatters. Sheriff Dart is simply insisting that the banks follow the law before he enforces its consequences.

      Thanks for the angry, ill-informed rant, though. Next time, as they say on http://www.fark.com, RTFA.

    • jeknee says:

      @Pylon83: Illinois law requires that renters be notified that their residence is in foreclosure and they will be evicted in 120 days. Renters are not being given this notice by property owners who are in foreclosure. Dart is refusing to evict people until it can be proven that the residents have in fact been given this notice – he is still evicting rental tenants who haven’t been paying their rent, just not people who have been paying their rent responsibly without any notice of trouble.

      • Pylon83 says:

        @jeknee:
        If the Court issues a valid eviction order, after being convinced that the conditions imposed by the legislature are satisfied, the Sheriff has no right not to enforce that valid order. Any problems with the validity of the order should be dealt with by the issuing court, not by the Sheriff. Notice how he says that he could be held in contempt of court for not enforcing their orders? He knows he can’t do what he’s doing, but he has chosen to be a vigilante.

        • Red_Flag says:

          @Pylon83: And his choice is, IMHO, morally right. Renters should not be hung out to dry because their landlord screwed up. If the banks want to take ownership of the property, they should be legally obligated to honor the existing tenants’ leases.

          • Pylon83 says:

            @Red_Flag:
            Again, the Sheriff doesn’t get to make moral judgments. His job is very mechanical. Take eviction order, signed by a judge, and evict the people living in the applicable property. He is not elected to make legal or policy judgments. The Renters do indeed have legal rights, but those are to be dealt with in a court of law, not by a vigilante sheriff.

            • @Pylon83: “Take eviction order, signed by a judge, and evict the people living in the applicable property”

              Except when in 1/3 of cases, the names on the eviction order are not the names of the people living in the house. He is not allowed to carry out the eviction in that case.

              You have a lot of opinions on this for someone who doesn’t know how eviction law works.

            • tinmanx says:

              @Pylon83: Don’t get to make moral judgments? That excuse didn’t hold up very well with war criminals.

              “I gassed all those innocent people because I was ordered to.”

              “I evicted all those innocent people (the renter, not the owners) because I was ordered to.”

              Looks like the Sheriff made a stand on what he believes, maybe he’ll get fired, but he made his choice. If they want, they’ll get another Sheriff that will do the evictions.

        • Red_Flag says:

          @Pylon83: Also, the contempt remark is what the Illinois Bankers Association said, not Sheriff Dart.

          “In announcing his plan, Dart acknowledged that he could be found in contempt of court,” –> the IBA said in a statement, <– adding that the sheriff’s decision “should not be tolerated.”

        • jamar0303 says:

          @Pylon83: And if it turns out that he evicted people in error, “just following orders” is not a valid defense. So why not err on the side of… I dunno, basic human decency?

        • @Pylon83: The court has already refused to find him in contempt for failing to enforce improperly-noticed eviction orders.

    • alexcassidy says:

      @Pylon83: So Pylon, which mortgage company do you work at? =P Kidding. Seriously though, I would think this Sheriff has a case- If a term of the eviction is that the renter be given notice, and they weren’t, isn’t it invalid? And that’s leaving aside the trivial point of “being a decent fucking human being”. Personally, I think this man’s a hero.

    • Pithlit says:

      @Pylon83: There comes a point where just following the law, or enforcing the law, becomes the wrong thing to do. And when that time comes, the right thing to do is stand up to it, even if it means you might lose your job or face other negative consequences. The fact is banks and the landlords aren’t living up to their end of the bargain, with their negligent actions are making victims of these renters. It would be easier for this sheriff to simply shrug his shoulders and say “Hey, not my problem. Just doing my job” and help perpetuate this victimization. But he’s standing up and saying “Hey! This isn’t right!”

      He’s a hero, as far as I’m concerned. If we had more people with his guts, there’d be far less trouble in this world. It’s people like him that make a difference in this world. If it weren’t for people like him, this world would still be stuck in the dark ages. Instead of castigating him, we should be putting the screws to the banks and the landlords who are flaunting the law. When they get their shit together, I’m sure this man will have no problem proceeding to do his job as he did before. The banks can cry and whine all they want about him not doing their job. Bottom line is it’s their lax actions that led to his.

      No one should be asked to show up and throw innocent people out on the streets, let alone demanded to do so. No one. It’s hard enough to do when the action is warranted. I just drove by a house yesterday where an eviction was taking place. I don’t know what that family’s circumstances were, but it was heartbreaking to see. All their belongings, including toys, in a trash heap. They were walking out a little tricycle and a Dora the Explorer doll to put on the heap as I was driving by. It’s a nasty, nasty business, even if it is legally mandated and supported. I can imagine even more so when you know the people are innocent.

    • humphrmi says:

      @Pylon83: Sheriff Dart is simply refusing to act on evictions brought to him by banks without the proper paperwork and court order.

      • Pylon83 says:

        @humphrmi:
        That’s not true. Read the statement below. He is refusing to execute court-ordered evictions. Evictions occur pursuant to court orders, not just because the bank tells the sheriff to do it.

        • humphrmi says:

          @Pylon83:

          Evictions occur pursuant to court orders, not just because the bank tells the sheriff to do it.

          Nope, not in Cook County. Banks have been going directly to the Sheriff’s office and saying “evict OWNER at XXX address” and then the Sheriff arrives and finds TENANT at XXX address, and OWNER is nowhere to be found. So the court orders, based on the assumption that the building is owner-occupied, is worthless. And he’s just saying, until a court orders him to evict the TENANT, he will not, just because the bank amends the eviction notice to include the tenant.

          • Pylon83 says:

            @humphrmi:
            A bank cannot get an eviction in Cook County without a court order. Why do you think the Sheriff has admitted that he’s likely to be found in contempt of court? The court-order is the “Check” on the banks to make sure they don’t evict improperly.

            • Pithlit says:
              • Pithlit says:

                @Pithlit: I have no idea what just happened to my post. The point I made and disappeared was that the sheriff was not morally or ethically obligated to perform his job if the banks and the courts weren’t upholding their end. The courts WEREN’T a check. They were taking the bank’s word for it that the bank exercised due diligence.

            • Pithlit says:

              @Pylon83: My previous post disappeared. The court orders weren’t a check. The courts were assuming that the banks were exercising due diligence.

            • humphrmi says:

              @Pylon83: Banks are not supposed to get an eviction notice from a court in Cook County unless they can prove that they have contacted the tenant and given them 120 days notice. Unfortunately, the courts are so backlogged that they are not verifying proof of service, and issuing eviction orders just to get them off their docket. Sheriff Dart is simply saying “no proof, no eviction.” Read the many articles about this. He’s said quite clearly that he will enforce any eviction that includes proof of notice.

              • Pylon83 says:

                @humphrmi:
                Quite simply, it’s not within his power to interpret that law or question the Court’s order. If the Judge signs an order to evict, his job is to enforce it, no questions asked. The job of a Sheriff is not to interpret the law, it is to enforce the law, including orders of the court. He is refusing to enforce orders of the court that he has interpreted to be improper. That is what’s wrong with this situation. The Sheriff has stepped over the line of his powers, and has gone from Government employee to vigilante.

                • humphrmi says:

                  @Pylon83: The court order says to evict an OWNER OCCUPANT. The sheriff arrives and finds a TENANT. The court order is no longer valid. All Dart is saying is, we’ll no longer execute these invalid orders.

                  • Pylon83 says:

                    @humphrmi:
                    The order is still VALID. The fact that the person living there is not the OWNER OCCUPANT does not invalidate the order. It simply means the order cannot be executed because there is no owner-occupant there. However, I have been to eviction court in Cook County, and there is typically a “John Doe” or “all occupants” clause tacked onto the orders that encompasses anyone living there. This is done to direct the Sheriff to evict the friend of the owner who is living in the basement. With that “Catch all” clause tacked to the end, the Sheriff is compelled to evict everyone there. It’s implicit from his statements that he may be found in contempt that the orders direct him to evict everyone there, not just an OWNER-OCCUPANT. He’s wrong, not doing his job, and should be removed from office.

                    • Pithlit says:

                      @Pylon83: It isn’t valid! The evictions aren’t being handled legally correctly. A sheriff, hell, any law enforcer who KNOWS the order he’s being given isn’t lawful is bound not to follow it. He shows up at the house. He sees its an innocent tenant who had no idea what was going on. Guess what! Illegal eviction! Bank wasn’t supposed to do that. The court wasn’t supposed to issue that order. If the court knew the facts and knew it was a tenant and not the owner, they wouldn’t have issued the order. It was invalid. No matter how many times you say otherwise. It is perfectly within his rights to say “Hey, the law isn’t being followed here” and not evict the poor innocent people out on the street with no warning. Law officers can and do interpret law in the decisions they make, all the time. He knew that things couldn’t continue the way they were. The banks and the courts didn’t seem to want to do anything about it, though, so he did. And the banks who are crying about this and saying it means they can’t issue loans are full of it. Notify the tenants and there isn’t a problem.

                    • jodark says:

                      @Pylon83: You sound like a real, live version of Dwight Schrute without the charm. I hope some sherriff knocks on your door and throws you and your shit out, because the person who owns the property didn’t pay the mortgage. Then maybe you’ll ‘get it.’

    • Difdi says:

      @Pylon83: As I understand things, in order to get a court to enforce an eviction, the bank must do A, B and C. Then the court must do D, E and F for the order to be legally valid. It is the Sheriff’s legal duty to verify that A through F inclusive have been done, and if so, he is obligated to execute the order. But if the bank only does B, and the court only does F, then the Sheriff would himself be breaking the law by executing an invalid order.

      If the banks are not following the law, and the courts are issuing invalid orders as a result of both the bank’s actions and the court’s actions, why must a Sheriff obey the orders at all? Because a court said to without authority to say it?

      Suppose a police officer (or military officer), in a situation where disobeying would be a crime, issues you an order to commit an action that is, in itself, a crime. Are you obligated to obey?

      • Pylon83 says:

        @Difdi:
        You’re wrong. It’s not the Sheriff’s duty to ensure that A-F are done. His job is to DO G, which is enforce the Courts eviction order. The Order doesn’t say “After making sure A-F were done, Evict.” It says “By order of this court, the Sheriff is to EVICT”. The Job of a Sheriff is not to interpret the law, or apply the law. His job is to enforce it, which includes enforcing orders of the court without questioning them or interpreting the reasons for them.

        • Pithlit says:

          @Pylon83: @Pylon83: No one is ever morally or ethically obligated to follow an unethical order. Sorry, but they’re not, even if they get in trouble. That is always true, everywhere, for everyone, no matter what. Otherwise atrocities happen. True, he could get in trouble over this, and he fully admits it. It isn’t stopping him from doing the right thing. That’s what heros do. People who think that orders should always be followed, no matter what are scary people. Innocents were being thrown out of their homes without warning. He was the only person to stand up and put a stop to it. If he didn’t, it would continue to happen. Anyone who wants to castigate him for that is absolutely wrong, and believes in a world I don’t want to be a part of. There *is* a line. When we stop believing that line exists, we turn into a monsterous society.

    • ordendelfai says:

      @Pylon83: Pylon, that’s sheep mentality. You say that a cop cannot interpret the law but you couldn’t be more wrong – it IS a cops duty to constantly interpret the law. Perhaps you believe the supreme court doesn’t legislate from the bench. Perhaps you do everything your told and believe everything you hear?

      A cop can question orders as much as anyone can. This cop clearly feels his orders are unethical and should not be enforced. He may lose his job for it, but he is taking a stance as any other public servant or civilian can and he is willing to deal with the consequences.

      Personally, my belief is he is doing the right thing!

    • Red_Flag says:

      @Pylon83: I still have to research the applicable state laws, but if the sheriffs in Illinois are anything like the sheriffs in my home state, they are not legally obligated to serve the papers. They are served at the discretion of the sheriff. That’s how it was written in our state constitution. Like I said, still looking up the laws for my new home state though.

    • Davan says:

      @Pylon83: You make me sick, truly.
      I feel like at this point you’re desperately holding onto this flawed opinion of yours solely because you were so staunchly spouting it in the first place, and now do not want to make yourself look bad. Well, you already look bad.

      • Pylon83 says:

        @Davan:
        Sick, eh? The fact that I believe that it is important that an elected official do the job they were elected to do, and not overstep their bounds by playing judge? I stand by my belief in this situation. If we can’t trust an elected sheriff to uphold the law, who can we trust? Had the sheriff simply found a loophole, such as sitting on these as long as statutorily possible, etc., I wouldn’t complain as much. However, he has blatantly admitted that he is essentially failing to execute the duty of his office. Part of his job is to enforce court orders. He is choosing not to do so. At that point, it’s time for him to be removed and replaced with someone who will do the job. If the people of Illinois are truly not happy with the way things are being run, the Legislature can step in and enact laws to change it. That is how the democratic process works, not by having a vigilante sheriff supplant his moral views over lawful court orders.

        • Red_Flag says:

          @Pylon83: I’m a person of Illinois, and I’m quite happy with the Cook County Sheriff’s Department’s stance. But what do I know? I just live here.

          • Pylon83 says:

            @Red_Flag:
            Then call your representative and demand they do something about it. It’s their job to change things, not some two-bit sheriff.

            • Red_Flag says:

              @Pylon83: I don’t think you realize that a sheriff is more or less the king of the county, at least that’s how it was at home. The sheriff could only be removed by the attorney general. Not the governor, not the president — only the attorney general. Otherwise, he merely needs to be reelected.

              My father is a retired deputy sheriff, and he tells me that legally, under the auspices of the office, he could choose to not write a ticket or choose to not arrest someone. If he did that he’d likely be fired, but he has that power should he choose to exercise it. And as far as a sheriff is concerned, compared to a deputy sheriff, the sheriff can only be fired by the voters. And honestly? I think more votes will be won by siding with renters than with bankers.

    • RichasB says:

      @Pylon83: You know who else ENFORCED the law without ever questioning if it was wrong or right? The NAZIS! Yeah, certainly, you remember that delightful group of baby killers.

      By your reasoning, every Nazi soldier who killed an innocent person is themselves innocent simply because they were folling Hitler’s law. Great sense of logic you have there.

      • ordendelfai says:

        @RichasB: RIGHT ON, every human being should question what they are told to do. Our titles are just something society gives us. We still our responsible for our own actions.

    • Oh yeah, I still have a clock and a pencil! says:

      how much would you like to bet that the duely elected sheriff is re-elected next term??

  10. leoeris says:

    God damned HEROIC.

  11. ThickSkinned says:

    Being that this is Chicago, did someone at the Bankers Association forget to make their payoff to the sheriff’s department this month?

  12. Trai_Dep says:

    Sounds to me like Linda Koch, president of Illinois Bankers Association, should carry out several of the evictions herself. As should all of the bankers sitting behind desks these days. It might make them a tad more open-minded to the concept of mortgage renegotiation.

  13. Red_Flag says:

    Being an urban Chicago renter myself, I must say I am quite pleased with Sheriff Dart’s actions.

    Renters are not responsible for their landlord not paying the mortgage, and should not be evicted when they have maintained their lease agreements. If the banks are allowed to take possession of the building then all current leases should be enforced, and failure on the bank’s part to do so should be actionable in civil courts.

  14. theblackdog says:

    I love that the guy is doing this, simply because it is a big problem lately that landlords stop paying their mortgages, and then it leaves the renters holding the bag when the home is foreclosed on. It has been a big problem in DC as well, so I hope that someone over there does what this sheriff is doing.

  15. VihoDia says:

    He should be given a reward. Remember the Nuremberg Trials where the Natzie main defense was I was just following orders.
    Are we to throw out people who are paid-up (victims) of a bad land-lord. Something needs to be done to protect these people.

  16. Now that is what I called being a maverick…while equally not being an asshat. You’re my hero of the year, sheriff.

  17. Echomatrix says:

    People think that the law is supreme. Law was written by a bunch of people to establish order, that order is no more so we end up with people just “doing the right thing” (i.e. look at the RIAA)

    At some point you gotta stick up for your morals and do the right thing. Paper vs people. If the Feds have to remove that sheriff from office, it would be political suicide for whoever ordered that saking.

  18. xip says:

    The article mentions that some of the people may not have been notified 120 days before the evictions. If this is the case with all of the people that he is refusing to evict, then I wouldn’t call him a vigilante. I would call him a hero. HOWEVER, if he’s just stopping all evictions in apartments, because some people *may* have not been notified, and he has no proof either way, I can’t say that I agree with him. And if he refuses to evict some people who actually did receive proper notice, then I would consider him a vigilante. And that’s not a good thing. The article isn’t totally clear on that though.

    His quote concerns me though:

    “These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don’t care who’s in the building,” Dart said.

    If he would have said something along the lines of “these mortgage companies aren’t following the rules and need to be held accountable for it,” then I would be all for it. But his quote makes me think his actions are based more on sympathy for people than on concern that proper procedures aren’t being followed by the banks. And as a sheriff, he can’t just refuse to enforce the law just because he doesn’t agree with it.

    • OletheaEurystheus says:

      @xip: Problem is not only are many of the people not being notified, the bank can not say 100% certain that those that have been actually HAVE been.

      Last I looked the USPS has a little thing called a certified letter, where you had to prove you are who you say you are and sign for the letter. Since when have banks stopped using this? Are they too cheap to shell out the money for the letters but have no issues with taxpayer money being used to check occupants of houses with county sherifs?

  19. Fujikopez says:

    Being suddenly evicted with no warning is one of my biggest fears as a renter. I’m glad he’s doing this, right or wrong, because it’s bringing the issue to the front page and hopefully there will be more legal rights for renters. Because it’s bs for this to happen to good, unsuspecting people.

  20. Red_Flag says:

    In the words of Sheriff Dart himself ( via [www.suntimes.com] )

    “As Cook County sheriff, I am responsible for running a 10,000-inmate jail, providing patrols to unincorporated areas and securing the courts.

    But perhaps no part of our job is as difficult as the work done by our eviction units. On any given day, our deputies could be asked to throw a family out of their home, with all of their possessions left on a curb — sometimes pilfered through by those living nearby.

    Where mortgage firms see pieces of paper, my deputies see people.

    Yet no matter how difficult they are, evictions are part of our job.

    What isn’t part of our job, however, is to carry out work on behalf of the multi-billion-dollar banks and mortgage industries.

    Too many times, our deputies arrive at a home to carry out a mortgage foreclosure eviction, only to find a tenant — dutifully paying their rent each month — who is unaware their landlord stopped using that rent money to pay the mortgage. They had no fair warning that they were about to be thrown out of their home.

    That’s because, in many cases, the banks have done nothing to determine, in advance, who’s living in the building — even though it’s required by state law. Instead, those banks expect taxpayers to pay for that investigative work for them.

    That stops today.

    We won’t be doing the banks’ work for them anymore.

    We won’t surprise tenants with an eviction order intended for their landlord.

    I may be held in contempt of court over this. If that’s the case, I’m willing to accept it though I believe most judges in Cook County share my desire to find a solution for this mess.

    We’re asking either the state courts or Legislature to order the banks to simply conduct very basic work before requesting an eviction.

    I’ve come to this point after spending the last year trying to work with the banking industry, even asking the Legislature to pass a bill requiring them to — at a minimum — let us know if any children, disabled or senior citizens live at the home, so we can connect them with social services. That effort was killed by banking industry lobbyists.

    Until the banking industry steps up and does the right thing, I won’t continue to risk violating the law and open taxpayers to further liability.”

    • Pylon83 says:

      @Red_Flag:
      Full and complete acknowledgment that what he is doing is wrong, but in his opinion, “morally” right. Hopefully it’s easy to impeach a sheriff in Illinois.

      • OletheaEurystheus says:

        @Pylon83: God your a broken record of stupidity.

      • Red_Flag says:

        @Pylon83: Usually, at least in the states I’ve lived in, sheriffs can only be removed by the state attorney general. Not the governor or anyone else in the state administration, only the attorney general.

        Illinois doesn’t have much in the way of recalls. Our ballot this November has a proposal to allow the recall of the governor. And honestly? If there was a recall vote, I’d vote for Sheriff Dart to remain Sheriff. Y’know, being a democratic vote and all.

      • Red_Flag says:

        @Pylon83: Not to mention… I still have to research the applicable state laws, but if the sheriffs in Illinois are anything like the sheriffs in my home state, they are not legally obligated to serve the papers. They are served at the discretion of the sheriff. That’s how it was written in our state constitution. Like I said, still looking up the laws for my new home state though.

      • @Pylon83:
        Everyone else has tried to explain to you why this sheriff is doing the right thing, and you’re just not getting it. So, I’ll simply say “Eat a bag of dicks.”

      • jamar0303 says:

        @Pylon83: Spitting into the wind…

        No one will try to impeach him; it would spell the end of their career and any good reputation they may have had. Oh, and not to mention make the current situation worse. America needs more people like him.

      • Haltingpoint says:

        @Pylon83: I think you need to reread his statement. He feels that the situation is not legal, hence “Until the banking industry steps up and does the right thing, I won’t continue to risk violating the law and open taxpayers to further liability.”

        His comment about being held in contempt does not mean that he KNOWS he is in contempt, only that some judge, somewhere, may rule against his favor, while he feels that most judges will side with him. Hardly a black and white issue as you seem to think it is.

    • madanthony says:

      @Red_Flag:

      That’s because, in many cases, the banks have done nothing to determine, in advance, who’s living in the building — even though it’s required by state law.

      This is kind of an interesting gray area. Much of the mortgage fraud that occurred was people lying when they took out mortgages on rental/investment property and saying that it was their primary residence, ie they lived there. So the bank has no reason to expect that it’s being rented, and simply mails the letter to the mortgagee at the address.

      It does seem kind of interesting that the state law requires the banks to find out who lives in a house because someone lied to them about who would live in the house.

  21. malvones says:

    too bad they can’t allow the tenants to remain in those homes, and simply work out payments directly to the bank holding the mortgage

    • The_IT_Crone says:

      @malvones: Came here to say THIS EXACTLY.

      Since the homes are now the bank’s property, why can they not become the new landlord? Temporarily of course, for the amount of time REQUIRED to evict someone.

      Or, if the banks want to get into the business of renting, hey.

      • Red_Flag says:

        @The_IT_Crone: That’s exactly what -should- happen, and I for one would support making that idea into law. If a bank repossesses a building that is being rented, then all the current leases should be honored.

        • Mr_D says:

          @Red_Flag: I don’t know if I’d go that far. It sets a weird precedent – an entity can be forced into a contract if a contract between it and a third party fails?

          It’s a messed up arrangement. Unfortunately, that requires messed up solutions that can lead to unintended consequences.

        • @Red_Flag:

          That would be a law with a lot of loopholes.

          Under that law, I could buy a $500,000 house, rent it legally to my friend for $10 a month. Default on the loan and skip town, but my friend would get to live in a $500,000 house for $10 a month for life.

          • Red_Flag says:

            @CreativeLinks: I realize that it has the potential for abuse, but I’d prefer the courts to be able to sort out leases made in bad faith in an attempt to defraud the bank, let the courts deal with those situations rather than issuing wholesale evictions. It’d be the lesser of the two evils.

          • The Porkchop Express says:

            @CreativeLinks: This is true, but they could give the renter a month or two by law. then the loophole would only be open for a specific amount of time.

            The renter (as long as they are paying) should have some right to the place while finding new digs. A limited amount of time though.

        • timsgm1418 says:

          @Red_Flag: that is a great idea!

    • Erwos says:

      @malvones: Why should the bank be forced into anything? Your landlord screwed you over, not them. Sue the landlord!

  22. samurailynn says:

    Maybe instead of working out ways that we can give banks money for nothing, we can make some kind of “owner abandonment” clause that basically lets banks take over properties and continue renting them to the current tenants. I’m sure banks don’t want to do this, but let’s see, they could either get nothing back on that loan that’s been defaulted on, or they could continue renting out the house, own the property, and use the rent to basically “pay” the loan until they have enough paid into the property that they can sell it for a reasonable amount without losing a lot of money themselves.

    • mythago says:

      @samurailynn: Banks can already do this if they are the owner. There’s nothing that requires the tenant to be evicted when ownership of a property changes hands. It’s just that they want to sell the house, and it’s harder to sell a house with a tenant in it.

  23. krom says:

    Taking possession of the property doesn’t require evicting tenants. It simply means becoming the owner.

    If it weren’t a bank, if the house was simply being sold to another individual, and there were renters under terms of a lease, the new owner would be obligated to honor the lease as the new owner of the leased property.

    But if you’re a bank, you get special exception to screw people.

    Furthermore, in the current climate, evicting tenants when you take posession is stupid. Let them stay, continue to pay the same rent, and continue to keep the house generally in good shape (clean, lawn mowed, attended). Makes a LOT more sense than owning an empty house with no income and either having to pay to maintain or letting it increasingly depreciate due to neglect.

    And these are the companies we expect to be smart with money!

    There was a story recently in Seattle where a group of tenants were still living in a repossessed house ten months after the fact, because it’s simply not cost effective for the bank to go through the trouble of actual eviction proceedings only to be left with an empty, unmaintained property.

  24. katiat325 says:

    I understand that it is his legal responsibility to follow the law, but what he’s doing justifies violation of that law. Morgage companies are the reason the world is now in this mess. They failed to to their work then, and are failing to do their work now. Since we technically paid for them to stay afloat with the bailout, who are they to say that we have to listen to them now? The taxpayers — the renters who’re being evicted unjustly included — are the ones paying these banks to survive, it’s time for them to get a clue and start listening to us instead of screwing us over at every turn. I congratulate the sheriff for what he’s doing, because he is the first one to truly realize (and act on) that these banking practices are flawed and need major changes. Our legislature failed to check them, now maybe the individual taxpayer will check them.

  25. Etoiles says:

    When I lived in New York, I once had a roommate who had to move (in with me) on very, very short notice because her apartment building was foreclosed upon. Every tenant in every unit was given 20 days to relocate or else be forcibly evicted.

    Because it was NYC, there were other options, but I can’t imagine having that happen in a place where suddenly there are no renting options left because it’s happening to every building. Renters seriously need tenant’s rights — in every state — to protect them in the event that their landlord / property owner is a dipshit in this way.

  26. Corporate_guy says:

    What I find ridiculous is that these banks are basically acting as if they do not know the addresses to the properties they are foreclosing on. How hard is it to send notices via the mail to the person living there telling them what is going on and that they have a few months to find a new place?

  27. dmuth says:

    This story shouldn’t be tagged “Vigilante”.

    It should be tagged “Hero”.

  28. digitalgimpus says:

    There is an obvious downside here. This is just encouraging the mentality of bad loans in the market that’s causing so many problems. Until these properties are dealt with and resold, they sit on the bank’s bottom line.

    So the Sheriff is essentially slowing down (very little) the correction to the housing market.

  29. ordendelfai says:

    A cop can question orders as much as anyone can. This cop clearly feels his orders are unethical and should not be enforced. A quote above even says he feels he is breaking a law, which requires him to disobey an order. He may lose his job for it, but he is taking a stance as any other public servant or civilian can and he is willing to deal with the consequences.

    Personally, my belief is he is doing the right thing!

    • humphrmi says:

      @ordendelfai: Fortunately, the Sheriff of Cook County is an elected official. So even if he’s removed from office, he can run again and get re-elected.

      And as much as everyone’s perception is that “doing the right thing” doesn’t count in Northeastern Illinois politics, sometimes it does.

  30. Invective says:

    It’s time that law enforcement quit working strictly for business. Private Jails lobby for stricter laws, putting more and more people in jail for longer sentences. Drug companies pay for bogus studies that show the results they want and lobby for putting people in jail who smoke pot. Banks reposes homes that have been paid on for long periods of time. I’ve repossessed homes for as little as $10k on the mortgage. Banks put those homes back on the market for the full appraised value and the homeowner looses not just a place to live, but a life as well. Power companies lobby for fewer and fewer consumer rights. We have 10s of millions of people in jail that probably, honestly don’t belong there. I listened to this Sheriff interviewed and he’s exactly right. Banks evict people regardless of circumstance, purely for a buck. America has become a heartless place and maybe that’s really the point of this meltdown. Back in the depression era, people had to pull together. This sheriff is a ‘stand-up guy’. It’s so rare these days that good people stand up and risk it all to do the right thing. It’s our compassion and our humanity that sets us apart. Anyone can be cruel and many choose to bully their way through life, but good people like this are awesome in my book. He wasn’t even asking for much really. His refusal is completely logical, but more than that, it’s human. ‘Protect and Serve’ It’s not ‘Protect the Business’. (Except in Idaho where it’s ‘Get Away with What You Can’…

  31. quail says:

    My folks had to rent a place for a year while insurance rebuilt their home. During that time a letter arrived at the rental from the bank. Seemed that the owner hadn’t paid the mortgage on the place. A few weeks later, through talks with bank officials my folks worked out a deal. They stayed, paid their rent to the bank, and moved out when the house was done.

    Why didn’t the mortgage companies send letters to the residence? If it’s a tenant, they’ll read the letter and find out what shenanigans the landlord’s pulling. The Sheriff is right in that it’s not up to the taxpayer or his department to find out who’s living there.

  32. quail says:

    Wasn’t their a report on here about a group of judges getting hard ass on companies trying to foreclose on houses not too long ago? Seemed that the people holding the mortgages were filing their paperwork in a shoddy manner and not proving true ownership of the mortgage. I’ll have to do a quick search to find that.

  33. Decaye says:

    Why are the banks angry about him delaying the evictions? Do they really believe they’ll be able to sell the properties to someone else? What America are they living in? Certainly not this one.

    • OletheaEurystheus says:

      @Decaye: We are talking about the people who have now completely destroyed the world economy. So yes they really DO think they can sell these properties. They really are that stupid.

  34. parrotuya says:

    Form up the posse, Jeb. We’ll head ‘em off at the pass!

  35. Red_Flag says:

    @undefined: Thas’ right, Sheriff! We’ll give ‘em a fair trial… and then we’ll hang ‘em!

  36. tedyc03 says:

    It’s worth noting that in several states (California being one of them), proper notice is required for evictions. Namely, a document must be served to the resident in question. The resident is given 30 days to move out if they are a renter. By law. And there’s a document signed by a process server that says “yeah they knew, I handed it to them” and that results in preservation of tenant’s rights.

    • OletheaEurystheus says:

      @tedyc03: What I am sure is happening, as I have seen it happen to my friend once who’s father stole his identity to take out a massive amount of bad debt, is that the process server is either forging the names, or serving the wrong person or address.

      In the case of my friend, despite the fact they served a former address they had left 2 years prior, a default sentence of guilt ended up put in since he never showed up. Once the court was notified what had happened they where mortified. Thankfully the fact my friend had legal documents notifying the court of his fathers identity theft (and later suicide) was enough to have the issue dropped.

  37. dkush21 says:

    OMG! There are still true heroes left in this world. I love you Sheriff Dart! You are truly an amazing and caring human being. Stick it to those banks!

  38. OMG! eric89 says:

    Hey! I’m in Cook County!
    What are the chances!

  39. v says:

    My hero!!!

  40. RenRen says:

    Finally, someone with balls. Can we vote him into Congress?

  41. incognit000 says:

    I’ve read of a number of sheriffs taking this policy, and refusing to evict people who are either renting the property (and thus innocent in this regard) or who were the victim of a predatory loan and are desperately trying to refinance. I commend them, and their desire to uphold the intent of the law rather than the letter.

  42. mariospants says:

    Explain to me how someone who is receiving INCOME from a property cannot make mortgage payments? If you’re not smart enough to make sure your renters are paying for your costs, then what the fuck are you doing running properties for rent? (and here I’m assuming that we’re talking multiple units and not a situation where a landlord is also occupying part of the property so that rent just helps cover the mortgage).

    Can’t the bank work with the tenants (as the new fucking OWNER of the building) to CONTINUE RECEIVING the rent for the time being until they can sell it to a new owner? Seems to me that the banks are being more than inconsiderate, they are being STUPID.

    • mariospants says:

      @Malvones: Sorry Malvones, I didn’t see your post but you basically stated the same thing.

    • cerbie says:

      @mariospants: I’m sure that most of the time, the properties are doing fine. But, the properties pay for the landlord, as well. If his costs in life unrelated to the rental houses can’t be taken care of, he falls behind.

      I fully agree on working with the tenants. They might lose some money (after all, the renters chose not to buy for good reason, and ability to handle all costs of ownership at market prices may be among them), but it would have to be less than going through a foreclosure, no?

  43. Ein2015 says:

    Why aren’t banks just giving the renters a chance to, you know, pay rent to the BANK instead?! Sounds like easy income to me…

    • OletheaEurystheus says:

      @Ein2015: They are under the mistaken belief people will actually buy. I am renting for a reason, I KNEW the market was due to a readjustment because housing prices where significantly too high to be reasonable for even a decently salaried person.

      Houses in my area where going for 400,000. The average combined income in my area was somewhere around 30,000. Yet these houses where SELLING. A condo was over 200,000 for a 2 bedroom. Thats insane.

  44. HogwartsAlum says:

    He’s Batman. :)

  45. cmdrsass says:

    When the Govt takes ownership of subprime properties, most evictions will cease. All it will take is one sob story to make national news of some disabled immigrant with 5 kids being kicked to the curb, and we’ll end up with a repeat of the Katrina-trailer situation.

  46. newfenoix says:

    History lesson time…. Several decades ago IN THIS COUNTRY, a black person could not use the same public restroom as a white person. Several law enforcement personnel REFUSED to arrest those that did so. But!!!! It was the law, they HAD TO ARREST THEM. Sometimes it takes just ONE person to make a stand against stupidity to start a revolution.

    • Erwos says:

      @newfenoix: You know what’s funny? If no one had arrested them, the law might not have changed. Civil disobedience requires the courts.

      • jamar0303 says:

        @Erwos: This is one county in one state. Countless other people in countless other counties in the other 49 states are being evicted all the same, so it’s nice that this sheriff chose to take the side of the people beforehand.

  47. sassenach says:

    It’s difficult to find someone to admire these days. Sheriff Dart is a hero.

  48. frodo_35 says:

    The landlords should be arrested for fraud if they were collecting rent and not paying the mortage. Chicago does not sound like a landlord friendly type jail.

  49. scienceclub says:

    I vote hero.

    This is what we didn’t see enough of during the crisis after the flooding of New Orleans – people willing to risk their jobs in order to salvage other people’s lives.

  50. Pious_Augustus says:

    Here we go again. We try to do the right thing and let people who cannot afford a home or have bad debt that hey they deserve a home give it too them and for sure somehow they will pay it back….WRONG!

    The Democratic Party’s Social Engingeering of the late 90s has come full circle. From bad foriegn policy which led to the 9/11 attacks now this!

    When you the Goverment tells banks that they NEED to give bad subprime loans to low income minorities and loans that they know people cannot pay off, your asking for trouble.

    Whats killing me we are enabling these people, instead of going to jail or being sued we let them go and pat them on the back. We tell them hey you cannot pay your loans, you deserve to go on section 8!

    It’s crazy we just gave the FHA a nice raise because more and more of these people who lied on their applications or claimed their only source if income is braiding hair from their home we just keep giving them more and more. Let’s stop the madness and get with the times and stop that mess

  51. zolielo says:

    UD means out. Police powers sometimes need police…

  52. banmojo says:

    If the renters are paying their rent on time, why in the F$#@ would the banks want them kicked out? Rent very often COVERS the monthly mortgage payment – the banks can take ownership of the property and leave the renters be, insuring both sides a positive outcome. Only the prior owners who couldn’t keep up with their payments lose out, and I don’t feel sorry for anyone who willingly remains ignorant, thus getting into shit they could have avoided had they only researched their IMPORTANT investment first. We should NOT be bailing anyone/anything out right now – this is unbridled socialism, which has worked out so splendidly for the USSR as an economic driving force, no? LET THE FREE MARKET REMAIN FREE. And if ANY new gov programs are going to be enacted, let them be ones that teach, no, REQUIRE, people to take responsibility for ALL their actions.

    eofm.