It could only be described as a Flash Mob. What is a flash mob you ask? Here's an example of OREO's 100th Birthday in Chicago. Yet Flash Mobs in Chicago also have a different connotation. For some Flash Mobs are an amusement, akin to the dance crowd that broke out at Oprah's 25th year Millenium Park farewell, for others Flash Mobs are a stark reminder of violence.
Yesterday, the apparent Flash Mob that occurred was neither dance nor violence oriented. Instead it was a foreclosure auction. And this foreclosure auction occurred just like I had 'always heard' that they occur, on the steps of the county courthouse.
At the Daley Center, 111 W. Washington, on the 7th floor in the lobby area at 12pm sharp yesterday, a gun-toting, clean-shaved gentleman carrying a stack of files from the Sheriff's office walked up from around the corner and set his files down on the common-area copier. And then, as-if on-cue, a swarm of people were surrounding this gentlemen as if little guppies waiting for a passerby to toss some breadcrumbs into the water.
Turns out nearly all of them, possibly as many as 20 were there for a Winnetka property which was back up for foreclosure auction. In the matter of 8 minutes, the gentlemen had called out status and auctioned off 2 properties to the Flash Mob auction crowd. And as quickly as the crowd formed, then crowd then disbursed to go troll the next auction offering.
A minute after the Flash Mob had dissipated, I mentioned to the gun-totating gentlemen of the Sheriff's office, "How's it been?", to which he replied, "Pretty active day today, but fewer people are buying these foreclosures when banks ask such high prices for low value properties".
And then he was gone.
Michael Hobbs, PahRoo Appraisal & Consultancy
Immediate Employment Opportunity: Chicago or Suburbs Certified Real Estate Appraiser, compensation $50,000 - $85,000