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A Chicago Family Fights for Its Home

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A Chicago Family Fights for Its Home

Alma Aquino and her brother-in-law Miguel Angel López arrive Wednesday afternoon at the Cook County sheriff’s office. In a meeting with the family, officials promised to look into an attempted eviction of the family. (WBEZ/Chip Mitchell)

It’s never fun to get evicted. And there’s an extra sting when the ones evicted didn’t do anything wrong. That’s how the nation’s foreclosure crisis is affecting some renters. But a family on Chicago’s North Side is fighting to keep its apartment.

30-year-old Alma Aquino says her family had paid its rent on time for more than a decade.

AQUINO: Mantenemos el edificio...

But after what seems like a fake condo conversion, the building’s owner went missing, lenders foreclosed, and eviction notices arrived. A Cook County judge last month agreed to protect the tenants from eviction.

That word apparently didn’t reach the county sheriff’s office. Four deputies tried to throw out Aquino’s family Monday. The sheriff’s office says it has an eviction order from a different judge.

The deputies eventually backed down, but Aquino’s family remains on edge.

CROWD: What do we want? Justice! When do we want it? Now!

With help from the Albany Park Neighborhood Council, Aquino’s family confronted top sheriff’s officials in downtown Chicago yesterday. The officials promised to look into the conflicting judicial orders.

The city, meanwhile, is looking for someone to buy the building and keep the tenants in their homes.

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