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)