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Payment Problem: Evictions Hold Steady in McLean County

Sheriff deputies hit the streets nearly every day, delivering news no one wants to get.
A new report out this summer reveals McLean County is one of the top areas on an economic rebound.

But when it comes to paying for property, sheriff deputies say it's a much different story.

Deputy Justin Faulk spends much of his time outside the sheriff's department.

He's often found traveling around town with eviction papers.
 
“It's one of the main things I do, is to go out and enforce the court orders,” explained Faulk “Evictions are a big part of that."

He hits the streets nearly every day, delivering the news no one wants to get.

"We've definitely seen an increase since 2008 in the foreclosure evictions,” said Faulk.

“I think it's become a reality to everybody that's experienced the downturn in the housing market."

Faulk says troubled property is easy to spot.

“The weeds start growing up in the yard.  They just don't put the maintenance and care into the home as they were when they were planning on being there."

Evictions can happen anywhere and at all income levels. 

But sheriff's deputies say they're most frequent at rental properties.

"The landlord tenant eviction, those have always been steady,” Faulk explained.  “There’s people that have lost their homes in all neighborhoods, rich or poor."

The McLean County Sheriff's Department averages nearly 18 evictions per month.

It’s a number holding steady since 2010.

“This isn’t really publicized,” said Sheriff Mike Emery.  “The evictions that we do, the foreclosure sales…it’s not one of the most pleasant duties of the sheriff’s office.”

Authorities say it’s a sign the economy is still recovering.

But as more people get back to work, the hope the eviction notices will start to disappear.

Help Available:

Sheriff Emery says a program started by the county's chief judge is helping cash strapped homeowners stay put.

They can work out a settlement with the bank to keep their property out of foreclosure.

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