Cook Co. sheriff to stop serving evictions

Oct. 8, 2008 at 9:34 PM
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CHICAGO, Oct. 8 (UPI) -- A Chicago-area official has said his office plans to stop serving eviction notices on people who have fallen behind on their rent or mortgage payments.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said Wednesday he could be found in contempt of court for ignoring court orders, but said he was willing to take the risk, the Chicago Tribune reported.

Dart said in addition hundreds of Cook County residents each month are evicted after their landlords haven't made their mortgage payments.

"The people we're interacting with are, many times, oblivious to the financial straits their landlord might be in," Dart said. "They are the innocent victims here, and they are the ones all of us must step up for and find some way to protect."

He said in 2006 that 18,916 mortgage foreclosures were filed in Cook County; last year, the number rose to 32,269. This year, Dart said more than 43,000 could be filed.

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