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Arkansas has found a way to turn low income, non-criminals into criminals

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posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:13 PM
I came across this video today, and I am shocked that a law like this exists. My first thought upon watching it was "here's an easy way to make criminals out of people barely surviving paycheck to paycheck". Does anyone else see the injustice here?

Arkansas is the only state to have a criminal eviction law. Unlike other states, landlords in Akansas are not required to fix and maintain their properties, and they may begin eviction when rent is 1 day late. Tenants then have a mere 10 days to vacate or face criminal charges, including 90 days in jail. Landlords merely pay a processing fee and state prosecutors handle the rest. Roof leaking, no hot water, and a broken stove? Too bad for you.

Vice News video
edit on 8/23/2014 by halfpint0701 because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:25 PM
Terrible indeed.

What the "conspiracy" ?

Who benefits the most ?

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:32 PM
a reply to: xuenchen
I guess a high percentage of the legislators are landlords themselves.
Wow, 'land of the free' eh?

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:34 PM
a reply to: grainofsand

More like "Land of the Fee, Home of the Slave"

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:35 PM
Yeah, and people who are comfy and "did all the right things" will say, "Serves them right... free loaders."

They forget, or are simply ignorant, that the vast majority are working poor who are marginal due to a huge number of factors they have no control over... the system is indeed rigged against them... it is not whining.

Until we recognize this and work a bit harder to spread the wealth and opportunities, we should sure as heck stop putting decent (or indecent) families out on the street... it's unconscionable.

Why we can't just have a kinder society is beyond me... we would all benefit from more justice and help when we need it.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:35 PM
a reply to: xuenchen

Is this the beginning of a new trend to meet the quotas of for-profit prisons while at the same time ensuring dependency on government assistance? Jail time doesn't look good on a job application, and an eviction hurts your credit rating - another thing potential employers look at nowadays.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:36 PM
a reply to: Flint2011

This is the future of America. The USA is about to turn into a despotic nation

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:40 PM
I agree it's gotta be someone else's fault I didn't pay my bills. Not my fault I tell ya.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:40 PM
a reply to: grainofsand

I loved the attorney they interviewed who also happens to own 60 properties.

I'm still trying to figure out how evicting someone who's a day late on rent and pressing criminal charges against them is comparable to getting a ticket for not feeding a parking meter.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 03:48 PM
isn't that special, I'm sure this law will spread quickly through the red states.

Not really sure what else to say, but this really helps out slum lords that don't take care of their property.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 04:02 PM
a reply to: halfpint0701
There is no moral defense for this situation whatsoever, of course.
I'm genuinely surprised that any state has such a despotic law, seems like the dark ages with the 'lord of the manor' having dominion over the peasants.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 04:13 PM
I would think they will soon run afoul of HUD and other Federal Agencies for passing and enforcing this law on the poorest of people. I am in Real Estate in Florida and Federal Law is alive and well. There are sections of law dealing with it, but I don't deal with it because I sell new homes for a builder. However, they make sure we have the HUD statement on our wall or else trouble if a federal inspector comes in.

I think there have been a few waves of injustice and the pendulum is about to swing the other way. At least I hope it does. There are enough houses in foreclosure to give all the homeless homes to live in. It would solve several problems. Homelessness for one and the banks got bailed out by the taxpayers, so therefore we the taxpayers should see to it the houses don't go back to the banks but to the homeless imho. That would clear out the foreclosed homes sitting around neighborhoods causing blight and revitalize the housing market. But, we are dealing with complete idiots in Washington and I have little hope of them doing anything constructive and worthwhile. At leat until the entire insiders are turned out and new blood is put in from amongst the people that still have commonsense and a heart. I am thinking about iceland telling the banks to take a hike and the government forgiving citizens debt. That is what should have happened to these thieves. And since they took some homes from people that had paid or owned them outright by robosigning foreclosure documents, they need to have it taken out of them. How the citizens keep getting put on the hook for the ridiculous garbage that is coming out of government and banks these days should have been enough for a revolution all by itself. If this happened in some self respecting countries the heads would have rolled, but not here in the US. They haven't hit the rocks hard enough yet. And they will, it is just a matter of time and imho it is just a matter of when the government is ready for it. Only in the US would the sheeple wait to start a revolution until the government troops are ready to squash it. As citizens we have the right to throw off a federal government that does not represent us anymore. Well, this government is done and overdue to have the states throw them out and start over with a new government that does what the people demand, not the banks and UN.

Remember me when they disappear me for writing this.
edit on 23/8/14 by spirit_horse because: (no reason given)

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 04:35 PM
There will soon be two classes of people in America:

Landowners and non-land owners. We are very quickly reverting back to a feudal system where a very few control the land, and the "serfdom" aka "peasantry" simply are lucky enough to live upon it.

In fact, we are probably already almost there. Out of most of my friends in real life, only about 1/3 of them "own" their own homes. "Ownership" itself is kind of a misnomer, however, in that even once a home is paid off if one doesn't pay property taxes to the government -- their property is forfeited.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 05:17 PM
What would be cheaper?
Helping the poor pay the rent.
The cost of keeping them in prison.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 05:29 PM

originally posted by: HauntWok
isn't that special, I'm sure this law will spread quickly through the red states.

Not really sure what else to say, but this really helps out slum lords that don't take care of their property.

Good point.

Probably targeting the blue voting areas.

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 05:46 PM
My husband and I recently found out about this law due to a banking error.

We're more or less day to day living on this end, nothing fancy by any means.

We've rented the same apartment now for well over nine years. Two months ago, his bank (which had recently changed hands) "accidentally" closed his account and failed to notify us of this fact. Needless to say, when his scheduled payment was supposed to drop, it didn't make it through due to the accounts inactive status.

We immediately notified our apartment manager, and informed him our rent might be a few days late while we tried to fix the errant account status. He was very kind and understanding, as we have never been late in our payments during the nine years of our occupancy.

However, the next day, we found an eviction notice on our front door...."per procedure". It made an already stressful situation much worse. It was a huge kick in the teeth. Unlike most low income in our region, we don't own a car, and don't have a bevy of church affiliates and/or family members to jump to the rescue in such a event.

Fortunately, we were able to remedy the situation ASAP and get the rent paid within two days of our first notification.

We weren't charged late fees because, lo and behold by chance and circumstance, we had actually been OVERPAYING on our rent by five dollars a month and had a nice little unknown nest egg no one mentioned to tell us about until this all came to pass.

Is the law unjust?
In my opinion and experience, yes it is.

But the reality of Arkansas is that it is a low income state, and filled to the brim with all sorts of criminal class across all income brackets. If it's not a white collar criminal pilfering from the pocketbooks of their employers, it's someone on the other end of the spectrum running every scam known across various agencies in order to avoid employment.

As much as it pains me to admit that, it's the unpleasant reality of this particular state...draconian and unfair and how the dice rolls around here.

edit on 8/23/14 by GENERAL EYES because: formatting

posted on Aug, 23 2014 @ 06:35 PM

edit on 23-8-2014 by derek_m24 because: Content

posted on Aug, 24 2014 @ 01:31 PM

originally posted by: halfpint0701
I came across this video today, and I am shocked that a law like this exists. My first thought upon watching it was "here's an easy way to make criminals out of people barely surviving paycheck to paycheck". Does anyone else see the injustice here?

This law seems to tilt things too far the other way, but as a former "landlord", let me give another perspective on renting out a property - not some corporate entity, just someone renting out a single property.

So, a few years way, a friend of my wife needed to sell a condo so he could buy a house - problem was, after all the fees, he'd wind up underwater, so we took it off his hands by assuming the payments.

We rented it out for a little under $1000 a month, with a mortgage and other fees of about $1200, so with repairs and such, we lost about $3000 a year on it - with our taxes, depreciation, and equity, this was a a decent deal for us.

When a tenant moved on, we'd have to list with an MLS, run credit checks, and get a new lease executed. The cost of getting a new tenant, then, ran about $900, assuming no break in tenancy - any break, and we'd obviously have to carry the mortgage, HOA, etc on our backs.

In our state, it generally takes about 90 days or more to evict, depending on how much they care to fight - there's plenty of pro bono housing advocates who'll represent a tenant if they want to put up a fight. If it goes that far, after 90 days you're out 2 months rent, (offset by the last month's deposit), legal fees, property rehab, and the cost of getting a new tenant. In our case, that could cost us $3000 or more out of our pockets. And of course, during this time, we had our own mortgage to pay.

So, for most landlords, they don't have any interest in evicting tenants - it costs too much to replace them. Even if rents went up in the neighborhood, and I could charge more, I'd lose that in the costs involved of getting a new tenant - that's why I and most landlords don't raise rents until the tenant leaves and I have to re-rent - any increase in rent would be lost to the cost of getting a new tenant.

I didn't know my last tenant had abandoned the property without paying until a neighbor called to complain that water was leaking into their condo from my unit - the tenant had fled town, without paying rent - never knew why, whether the water pipe was malice, or damaged it and got scared, or what.

The end result, taking the place off the market, making repairs, and putting it up for sale was a cost of $12000 out of pocket - we ate up most of our savings during this, and I personally know people who had worse experiences, and were driven into bankruptcy.

Point is, very few landlords want to evict a tenant - it's messy, unpleasant, and can be very expensive, even under the best of circumstances.

posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 01:20 AM
a reply to: halfpint0701

Detroit perfected it.

posted on Aug, 30 2014 @ 02:50 AM
OP's source is incorrect.
Search "Arkansas Residential Landlord -- Tenant Act of 2007"
The following code is what was in effect as of July 2, 2014:

AR code, Title 18:
18-17-701. Noncompliance with rental agreement -- Failure to pay rent -- Removal of evicted tenant's personal property. (a) (1) Except as provided in this chapter, if there is a noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement, the landlord may deliver a written notice to the tenant specifying the acts and omissions constituting the noncompliance and that the rental agreement will terminate upon a date not less than fourteen (14) days after receipt of the notice, if the noncompliance is not remedied in fourteen (14) days.

So there's 14 days before you can be "evicted". But wait...

(2) The rental agreement shall terminate as provided in the notice unless the noncompliance is remediable by repairs or otherwise and the tenant adequately remedies the noncompliance before the date specified in the notice.

(b) If rent is unpaid when due and the tenant fails to pay rent within five (5) days from the date due, the landlord may terminate the rental agreement.

So they have to wait 5 days before they can give you the 14 day notice.

(c) (1) Except as provided in this chapter, the landlord may recover actual damages and obtain injunctive relief, judgments, or evictions in circuit court or district court without posting bond for any noncompliance by the tenant with the rental agreement.

(2) If the tenant's noncompliance is willful other than nonpayment of rent, the landlord may recover reasonable attorney's fees, provided the landlord is represented by an attorney.

(3) If the tenant's nonpayment of rent is not in good faith, the landlord is entitled to reasonable attorney's fees, provided the landlord is represented by an attorney.

... and they can get costs and damage reimbursements if it goes to court.

To sum it up:
- if rent is 5 days late, landlord can start eviction proceedings, starting with serving the tenant a termination of rental agreement;
- if after 14 days, rent is still not paid and the tenant still is in possession of the dwelling, court eviction proceedings can begin.
[there's 19 days right there]
- Then the tenant must be given a court date and chance to respond to the action; in case the landlord started proceedings prior to the expiration of the 19 days as required by Arkansas law, the court date may possibly be the 20th day;
- then depending on the decision of the court, additional time may be granted to pay or vacate;
- if the tenant has not vacated or paid the past due rent within 5 days of the final date set by the court, the landlord can petition the court for a writ of possession
[so now we're up to at least 24 days plus any additional time the court allowed, if any, before physical removal of the tenant can be considered]

I don't feel much like summarizing the rest of Chapter 17....

edit on 8/30/2014 by abecedarian because: (no reason given)

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