This is an extraordinary quote from an article in the New Yorker:
In February, 1932, the Times published an account of community resistance to the eviction of three families in the Bronx, observing, “Probably because of the cold, the crowd numbered only 1,000.”
Now, evictions rarely attract crowds. According to the same article, “the majority of poor renting families spend more than half their income on housing,” with the predictable result that millions of Americans are evicted every year. Evictions are no longer unusual. They are so common the idea of a crowd showing up for every single one is inconceivable.
This is another profound quote from that article:
If incarceration had come to define the lives of men from impoverished black neighborhoods, eviction was shaping the lives of women. Poor black men were locked up. Poor black women were locked out.
The consequences overlap. Both convictions and evictions land on records, and both make it harder to get a job, credit, rent an apartment, and ultimately get out of poverty.
I don’t mean to suggest that it is wrong to evict people who aren’t paying their rent. What’s wrong is that so many Americans can’t pay rent, and that so many of the Americans who can’t pay rent are black. Those are complicated problems. Criminal justice reform is finally getting some attention, but we really need to work on both issues.
GMAC, a large mortgage lender, has been foreclosing like mad, apparently without bothering to check its facts. Here is an excerpt from a deposition of GMAC employee Jeffrey Stephen:
Q. So other than the due date and the balances due, is it correct that you do not know whether any other part of the affidavit that you sign is true?
A. That could be correct.
In short, the affidavits might as well be faked. Caught in the act, GMAC has stopped evicting homeowners and foreclosing mortgages in 23 states. Or mostly stopped, anyway.
Believe it or not, there are laws against this sort of thing. It’s just that nobody has bothered to enforce them.
In Hodges v. Feinstein, Raiss, Kelin & Booker LLC, the New Jersey Supreme Court held that lawyers who regularly file eviction proceedings are debt collectors who are subject to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act. Although the remedy in an eviction proceeding is eviction, not money, the court decided that eviction is, in reality, a powerful debt collection mechanism.
The case is, unfortunately, the opinion of one state court, and not that of a federal jurisdiction. Still, it may prove useful persuasive authority for tenants in other states who wish to invoke the FDCPA against law firms who evict in bad faith or based on inaccurate allegations of unpaid rent.
[from Consumer Law & Policy]
I’m having fun searching for “landlord” on YouTube lately. There are a ton of great videos of terrible landlords. Cameras are a terrific tool to use in a landlord-tenant dispute.
This video, however, shows what happens when a liberal eviction law is in place. In Maryland, a landlord may evict a tenant for even one day of late rent. Minnesota, thankfully, is not quite so strict, and requires notice, at least, before an eviction can be filed.