Michigan Sheriff “Protects and Serves”


The Detroit Free Press published a report saying,

“Wayne County Sheriff Warren Evans’ announcement Monday that he would indefinitely halt mortgage foreclosure sales may buy some time for homeowners in financial trouble, but experts question its legality and say it can’t prevent lenders from taking back homes from owners.”

2008 photo by KIMBERLY P. MITCHELL/Detroit Free Press

While the legality of his actions may be in question Sheriff Evans justifies his actions by interpreting the language of TARP. As quoted from the article,
Evans said he believes the federal Troubled Asset Relief Program, approved by Congress last fall, trumps state law and preempts him from selling foreclosed homes. The program requires the secretary of the Treasury to implement a plan to settle foreclosures and to encourage lenders to modify loans to help owners stay in their homes.
TARP or the troubled, Troubled Asset Relief Program, was in theory meant to help homeowners but as we all know that has not happened. But Sheriff Evans sees what many of us see -including this writer – that there does need to be some relief for homeowners which in turn would help deteriorating values and neighborhoods. In fact, keeping homeowner in their homes can possibly begin to stabalize the market putting us on a path to recovery.Evans seems to have a conscience lacking by many legislators and government officials. Especially lacking by our “not so great” financial institutions.
The article goes on to quote him saying;
“I cannot in clear conscience allow any more families to lose their homes through foreclosure sale until I’m satisfied they have been afforded every option they are entitled to under the law to avoid foreclosure”
Of course, Evans is a candidate for Mayor of Detroit so sum may think this a political ploy. Even it is, it still goes to serve people and possibly offer solutions. Maybe it will even force the lenders to make sincere workout efforts.
Evans further justifies his actions by saying,

“It’s just a vacant house that is going to be scavenged,” The copper is going to be taken. It’s going to be a blight in the neighborhood. Common sense would tell me that occupying that house by anybody would be better for the structure than the person not being in it.”

“Common sense”, he says – a commodity missing from many in government and in corporate America. His common sense does make sense. People – even in financial distress – still love their homes, will maintain their homes keeping neighborhoods more viable by stabalizing values. A prime ingredient needed to help the housing market.
Vanessa Denha-Garmo, a spokeswoman for Wayne County Executive Robert Ficano, raised the issue of legality in a prepared statement:

“The sheriff appears to have good intentions that would have mass appeal, especially with the struggles we are facing in this region. However, there is a legitimate question of whether or not he can legally sustain this in a court of
law.”

Yes Vanessa, maybe there is a Santa Clause. Vanessa is also right when she says that the good intentions of Sheriff Evans would have “mass appeal”.
We need not only mass appeal but we need the masses to stand up and speak out. I for one, congratulate Sheriff Evans for his bold but honest – and I believe – sincere actions.
He may not prevail but he certainly will get more people thinking and maybe more to act.
We have two Congresswomen speaking out and now a Sheriff. I would like to see more of our elected officials and our corporate citizens speak out on hehalf of the people of our nation and “Protect and Serve”
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