Tired of seeing renters who are caught in the mortgage meltdown being kicked out to the curb, Sheriff Thomas J. Dart of Cook County, Illinois, took a brave step: he's going to stop serving eviction notices!
"These poor people are seeing everything they own put out on the street. ... They've paid their bills, paid them on time. Here we are with a battering ram at the front door going to throw them out. It's gotten insane," he said.
Mortgage companies are supposed to identify a building's occupants before asking for an eviction, but sheriff's deputies routinely find that the mortgage companies have not done so, Dart said.
"This is an example where the banking industry has not done any of the work they should do. It's a piece of paper to them," Dart said.
"These mortgage companies ... don't care who's in the building," Dart said Wednesday. "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."