Thursday, April 26, 2012

In Illinois, possession not 9/10 of the law?

The Chicago-based Woodstock Institute is understandably exercised about an Illinois state legislative proposal that, if passed, would declare a property to be "abandoned" for quick-foreclosure purposes if it has residents but they aren't authorized to be there. This sounds like it's not directed against folks of marginal status like activists or squatters, but really against homeowners who started out bona fide but are soon to be non-owners.

Here's some of the more chilling language from the current Illinois Senate SB 2534 proposal as linked via the Woodstock blog item:
"...the court shall find that the property which is the subject of the foreclosure complaint is abandoned residential property if: (i) the property is not occupied by any mortgagor or bona fide tenant as a principal residence, or the structure is empty or otherwise uninhabited and the structure or lot is in need of maintenance, repair, or securing; and (ii) one or more of the conditions or circumstances described in Section 15-1200.5 apply...."
Such a nasty fiction. So much for hoary legal proverbs about possession being nine-tenths of the law, and one's home being one's castle and such?

Well, it's not law as of now. Woodstock is promoting a call by Housing Action Illinois for people to write in and object.

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