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Commentary: Sheriff's actions show desperation of financial crisis

  • Story Highlights
  • Illinois sheriff puts a moratorium on all foreclosure evictions
  • Campbell Brown says things are getting desperate for a lot of people
  • Brown says sheriff's actions show how badly we need national leadership
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By Campbell Brown
CNN
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Editor's note: Campbell Brown anchors CNN's "Campbell Brown: Election Center" at 8 p.m. ET Mondays through Fridays. She delivered this commentary during the "Cutting through the Bull" segment of Thursday night's broadcast.

Campbell Brown says a sheriff's decision to stop evictions points to the lack of national leadership

Campbell Brown says a sheriff's decision to stop evictions points to the lack of national leadership

NEW YORK (CNN) -- In the middle of the mortgage crisis, with literally thousands of people being evicted from their homes this month alone, a sheriff in Chicago is making quite a name for himself.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart has announced that for the foreseeable future he is not going to evict anyone else from a home banks have foreclosed on.

How come? He's fed up.

He says what is happening more often than not is that when his officers show up at a home, they find the people there are not the homeowners, but renters who have been paying the rent on time and had no idea the owner had fallen behind on mortgage payments. Video Watch Brown "Cut Through the Bull" on "Election Center" »

These are families with children, and the first they heard of their eviction was when officers appeared at the door. So Sheriff Dart just said, "Enough."

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Now, I can't support vigilante justice. I think our law enforcement officers should enforce the law. But is there some gray area here?

The law in Illinois says people have to be notified well ahead of time when they are going to be evicted.

The banks are supposed to contact these people, find out who lives in these homes and do their due diligence.

Dart says the banks aren't doing this in all cases; he says they are not meeting their obligation. So he put a moratorium on all foreclosure evictions, and the banks are trying to have the sheriff held in contempt.

You can decide who is right or wrong here, but the fact is things are getting desperate out there for a lot of people.

Families are being literally kicked to the curb. And our national leaders, our politicians in Washington and our presidential candidates don't seem at all close to figuring this out.

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There is an absence of leadership right now, and the actions of Sheriff Dart are yet another example of just how badly we need it.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the writer.

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