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Eviction Record Sealing Measure Advances

Molly Marshall
Flickr (CC-NC 2.0)

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A measure to expand cases when eviction records can be sealed has advanced out of a House committee.

Proponents say unsealed eviction notices can taint a renter’s record even if an eviction is never carried out. That makes it difficult for renters to find a new home.

Bob Palmer of Housing Action Illinois says,“We understand that landlords have a compelling interest in wanting to screen tenants so they can get good tenants, but we don't think that just having an eviction filing is a good reflection  on someone's ability to be a good tenant.”

A Republican lawmaker who cast a “no” vote said she did so because the bill as it stands is too broad and that it creates a new cost for county clerks.

Margo McDermed,  a Republican from Mokena,  “We certainly don't want to have a situation where folks that should have been evicted and are  worried that they  didn’t  actually have the proper notice of that behavior on their credit records. So we have to somehow walk that line and get the right remedy for the problem.”

A report last year found that of about 57,000 eviction cases in 2016, more than 50 percent didn't end up in actual evictions.

Copyright 2021 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

Maureen Foertsch McKinney is the NPR Illinois News Editor and a lead editor of Illinois Issues' feature articles, working with freelance writers, and is curator of the Equity blog. Maureen joined the staff in 1998 as projects editor. Previously, she worked at three Illinois daily newspapers, most recently the suburban Chicago-based Daily Herald, where she served stints as an education reporter and copy editor. She graduated in 1985 with a bachelor's in journalism. She also has a master's degree in English from the University of Illinois at Springfield.