HIGH NOON ON MAIN STREET
SHERIFF IN SHOWDOWN WITH BANKS
CHI-TOWN LAWMAN SAYS NO MORE EVICTIONS ON HIS WATCH
"Sheriff Tom Dart: No foreclosure evictions on my watch"
Rent-Paying Tenants Being Tossed Into The Streets By Banks Who Failed To Do Their Jobs
First these banks lent money to dead-beat landlords. Then they failed to collect payments on the money they lent. Then they foreclosed without notifying the legal occupants of what they knew to be rental properties. Now they're after the Sheriff for "refusing to do his duty," i.e. making innocent people homeless without legal notice or due process of law.
In fact, the Cook County Sheriff, Thomas J. Dart, is doing what any movie sheriff would do in a classic Western: Facing down the real bad guys and defending the honest citizens of his town. It's a sight that is all too rare in the real world. Most law enforcement officers do not concern themselves with questions of right and wrong, legal and illegal, fair and unfair, human and inhuman. Like good Germans, most government officials just follow orders, even when they come from crooked landlords and predatory bankers, incompetent bureaucrats and bought-and-payed-for judges. But this time, the bad guys found themselves facing down an honest man, a real American hero.
Sheriff Dart may lose his job. He may be fined or sanctioned or demoted or even imprisoned. He may have to back down. But for now, the good sheriff of Cook County, Illinois, has drawn a line in the dust of Main Street, and everybody knows which side of that line justice is on. If only all of our elected and appointed officials would watch and learn from this Western. In all of this talk of bail-outs and rescues, you don't hear much about justice.
Justice would require that the good be rewarded and the bad punished. Justice would demand that those who have victimised the American people and gamed the system should not be allowed to continue to do so. Justice would guarantee that those who have been victimised should be made whole, and that ownership of our own economy should vest with us. If we're going to have to pay for the mistakes and misdeeds of our financial giants here in America, we should, by rights, receive a large share of any profits that accrue to them in the future. We should take full possession of these entities, and run them for our own benefit. Our lives, our laws, our systems are not a game.
We need to stand up for what is right like Sheriff Dart is doing. We need to do it right now. Otherwise, we end up like the foolish, cowardly townspeople in one of those Western movie morality plays, and we lose our town, our country to the bad guys. It's time we stood up and supported our local Sheriff, or Congressman, or Senator, in fighting for justice. They can't do it alone, and they shouldn't have to.
"Illinois sheriff: No foreclosure evictions on my watch"
' "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." '
CBS NEWS KDKA PITTSBURGH
"Renters Caught In Middle Of Foreclosures"
' Renters are often the innocent victims of the foreclosure crisis. Tenants pay their rent but face possible eviction because their landlords don't pay their mortgage loans. Now there's word of a massive foreclosure on a dozen apartments buildings whose tenants who face an uncertain future. All of the buildings are owned by one landlord who owes the bank more than $2 million dollars. Sheriff sales are the end of the line in the foreclosure process. Now on the block are 11 apartment buildings sprinkled through the Southside and a few other neighborhoods and towns. All of them are currently owned by one landlord, Davin Gartley, the owner of Davin Investments, who is in default to the bank for some $2.4 million in loans. That default leaves rent paying tenants like Jean Winkowski in the lurch. "If it goes up for sheriff sale how long does that give us to move," asked Winkowski. "You know what I mean. He hasn't told anybody nothing." '
"Foreclosure Crisis Hits Many Local Residents"
' For UC Berkeley graduate student Steven Barcelo, what seemed like an exciting new start in his life-moving with his fiancee into a home in a nice neighborhood at a bargain rent-soon turned into a nightmare. After Barcelo and his fiancee settled into the new house two months after pre-paying an entire year's rent to outbid other prospective tenants, they received an e-mail from their landlord that the property was going to be foreclosed. The couple is only one of many Berkeley residents who have felt the pinch of the foreclosure crisis. Barcelo said representatives from the lending bank started pressuring him to leave the property. "If we didn't leave, the sheriff would come by and force us to leave, was what (a bank representative) was telling us," Barcelo said. The representative told the couple that they had a few days to move out before the sheriff could come to their home without notice and remove their belongings, Barcelo said. '
CLEVELAND PLAIN DEALER
"90-year-old woman shoots self as deputies try to evict her"
' A 90-year-old Akron woman is in Akron General Medical Center after shooting herself as sheriff deputies came to evict her from her Lacroix home Wednesday. The woman's condition was not known. Summit County deputies were at the home in the 1100 block of La Croix Avenue around 1 p.m. Thursday and no one answered the door when they knocked. The deputies heard a commotion upstairs and a neighbor said he thought she was still home. The neighbor then got a ladder and crawled in a second floor bathroom window. He found the woman shot in her bedroom. '.
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