People facing eviction and foreclosure are financially stressed by definition.

Losing one's primary residence is a big deal that can affect one's physical health.

Both the U.S. Constitution and Illinois Constitution guarantee that people will be secure in their homes.

Lenders have too often engaged in fraud and other practices that make foreclosures legally defective. This is in part possible because attorneys that represent lenders and landlords often have a chummy relationship with the judges that hear these cases.

If there's a right to counsel in criminal matters, it doesn't seem like an unusual interpretation of the U.S. Constitution and Illinois Constitution to see a right to counsel in evictions and foreclosures.

This should be paid for by a small tax on home loans, a large fee on foreclosures and a tax on rental units where either the owner has six or more units or the property management company manages six or more units.

There are a huge number of residential properties in Cook County that have been foreclosed upon and remain vacant for long periods after the foreclosure.

This diminishes the communities where there are foreclosed properties. And over time the properties themselves become damaged, sometimes beyond repair.

When a lender forecloses on a property s/he should have six months to return the property to the market. The lender can either rent the property to a tenant or sell it to someone who occupies the property.

If the lender takes greater than six months, Cook County should impose a per month fee on the lender. If the property remains vacant a year after the foreclosure, the fee should go up.

The revenue from these fees/taxes should be split between the school district(s) (largest amount), municipal government and county (smallest amount).

This will generate revenue. It will strengthen communities. And, as the foreclosed properties get repaired, stimulate the economy.

The Cook County budget covers a huge amount of spending. There are 17 commissioners with relatively small staffs. Few of the commissioners or staff members have great expertise in accounting, budgets and audits.

The commissioners should get money to hire outside accounting expertise to review the budget submitted by the president. This would be a spending increase, but it would also achieve two important goals:

1. The budget would get scrutinized better.

2. The commissioners would better understand the budget.

Ideally, this would make Cook County government work better.

Carl Nyberg about 6 years ago

Cook County should implement a 1% tax on transactions conducted by automatic checkout machines and use half the money for jobs training programs.