Tom Dart, the Sheriff of Cook County IL, the county in which the City of Chicago is located, caused quite a stir a week ago when he exclaimed he or his officers will not enforce evictions due to foreclosure across the county.
Many claimed this is illegal - which it very might well be. Others claimed Dart might be in Contempt of Court.
In any event, Dart and his Sheriff's Department caught a lot of publicity, and some flack, as a result of the move.
It was on October 9th that Sheriff Dart instructed his officers to suspend evictions from properties which had been foreclosed. His action came after several of the officers reported that many of those being asked to leave were actually not the owners themselves, but their TENANTS - many of whom were current in their rent payments.
His action actually temporarily stopped evictions on ALL Cook County IL Foreclosed Properties, not only those occupied by tenants.
Today, Dart announced he would resume evictions, beginning Monday, October 20th. The Sheriff was assured by court officials that the rights of tenants in good standing residing in foreclosed buildings would be respected.
New IL Law requires tenants in buildings subject to foreclosure eviction be given a minimum of 90 days to vacate following notice that the foreclosure is complete.
"After these extensive discussions, we've been assured that we're not going to be asked to evict innocent tenants," said Dart. "But if we find it going on again, we will halt evictions again if necessary."
Dart feels that the job of notifying tenants their home or apartment is the subject of a foreclosure action is up to the banks holding the defaulting owner's loan, not Sheriff Deputies.
The new court ruling does not change current law. Rather, according to Dorothy Kinnaird, the Presiding Judge of the Cook County Chancery Division, it formalizes the procedure for enforcing the existing law, and ensures that proper procedure for eviction is followed as it applies to notification of tenants.
Also, the ruling requires banks or other lending institutions to maintain detailed documentation containing the names of all tenants in a foreclosed building, and when they were notified of impending foreclosure action.
Kevin Connelly, the First Assistant Chief Deputy Sheriff of Cook County, says the new procedures will lengthen the foreclosure process. "But banks should have been doing this before," he contended.
Dart received a lot of regional and national notoriety from his decision to suspend foreclosure evictions here. However, he contends he was on firm legal and moral footing with his decision to ignore court orders and halt certain evictions. "In the end I feel we have see the end of innocent tenants being victimized," he said.
See our post today via BlogChicagoHomes.comfor more info, as well as a link to Azam Ahmed's story, and accompanying video, in today's Chicago Tribune.
DEAN & DEAN'S TEAM CHICAGO