The sheriff of the third-most populous U.S. county halted evictions on foreclosed properties on Thursday, saying innocent tenants were being put on the street. But bankers said he was breaking the law. Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart said he understood he was flouting the law in refusing to have deputies carry out the rising number of eviction requests, but mortgage holders must be accountable.
"These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care who's in the building," Dart said. The eviction moratorium applied to any home, apartment building or condominium facing mortgage foreclosure. Other evictions due to such issues as failing to pay rent would continue, Dart said.
Dart, whose county includes the city of Chicago and encompasses 5.4 million people, said he believed he was the first sheriff in a major metropolitan area to take such a step... A spokesman for the sheriff said there were more than 500 evictions for foreclosure scheduled over the next six weeks and the office was on pace to conduct 4,500 evictions this year. Mortgage foreclosure cases filed in Cook County are likely to exceed 43,000 this year, compared to some 18,000 in 2006, the sheriff said...