Friday, March 20, 2009

Crossing the Line in Cook County - Fingerprints Required for Home Sellers

The Fox Forum (Glenn Beck) -

Hello, America. I wanted to start off this column by saying that, mostly to remind myself that I am still in America. More and more … each and every day… it seems that those who’ve been elected into power have forgotten the very fundamentals of our freedom as Americans.


Before I give you the details, let’s start with what you need to know as true and inalienable: You have a right to privacy. Period. End of story. The First, Third, Fourth, Ninth and Fourteenth Amendments to our Constitution all include specific provisions pertaining to your right to privacy. Of course, remember — I’m talking about news out of Chicago, and it seems that they have an, um … unique approach to governing, and the Constitution doesn’t always appear to be anyone’s favorite point of reference. Ok, so brace yourself, because here it is: In Cook County, Illinois, you have to give over your fingerprint if you want to sell your house. No, I’m not kidding.

There are all kinds of people you’d think we want to fingerprint before they become an American homeowner (you know … like maybe non-citizens coming into our country?), but no — the legal eagles over there in Cook County have started with regular hard-working, home-owning Americans just like you. This is yet another example of the government getting bigger in the process of making your rights smaller.

This law goes into effect on June 1, and was passed very quietly last October by … wait for it … wait for it — former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich. Chicago politics — don’t you just love ‘em! So the deal is that under this new law, every time a real estate transaction takes place in Cook County, Illinois, a notary is required to take a fingerprint and keep it on file for seven years. So why is Cook County doing this, you might ask? Lawmakers say it’s to cut down on the occurrence of fraud. (Call me cynical, but in Chicago it might be easier for them to keep track of the times fraud doesn’t enter into the legal and political systems. I’m just sayin’…)

Look, I understand the need to help keep homeowners safe — the last thing you need today is one more person trying to screw you when it comes to your biggest investment. So this week I spoke to a Cook County homeowner and asked why a law aimed at preventing fraud didn’t have at least some merit. His name is Gerald Cain, and here’s what he had to say:

“The way the law is written, there would be so many ways around it. Certainly, someone would just have to cross a state border and have the deed notarized in another state. So aside from being just an invasion of privacy and treating the good citizens of Cook County like they’re criminals, it’s unenforceable.”

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