Hundreds of Glenview Families Losing Their Homes
Facing the loss of his family's home, one Sunset Village resident shares a last dispatch from the dilapidated and neglected mobile home park in this letter to the editor.
Here's my latest, and quite possibly my last report from Sunset Village:
A politician once said that when your neighbor losses his job, it’s a recession but when you lose your job, it’s a depression. I can assure you the same goes for losing your home.
I have been a resident at Sunset Village for nearly three years. I have watched and experienced some brutal management techniques, intimidation tactics and other unpleasant occurrences brought upon the residents here during the reign of slumlord Richard Klarchek.
I thought that when he finally declared bankruptcy and was forced out that things would improve? However, our reprieve was short lived. We have gone from his dictatorship to having big banks like Lincoln Financial and MB Financial force the poorest of Klarcheks victims to subsidize or offset their misguided investment choices.
Like a pack of ravenous wolves they set upon our community and have torn up and devoured anything of value leaving nothing but waste, decay and despair in their wake. Worse still they come back often, each time hungrier than the time before.
Every hour of every day we live through the inability and ineffectiveness of our civic leaders and regulatory agencies to restore at least a modicum of safety and security to the residents here. And every week another family is forced out of their homes unable to keep up with the rising prices of purchasing drinking water, fixing constant flat tires and having their lot rents raised by as much as thirty percent overnight or any number of ancillary costs attributed to the poor conditions here. They fear for their safety in a place with no working fire hydrants, very few working street lights and abandoned homes in a dilapidated state on every street providing a potential haven for criminal activity.
And then there’s the matter of our irradiated and polluted water. I have lived in a lot of different places, but I’ve never had water that alternately stained clothes brown or bleached them until now. I am not too sure we should be bathing with it much less drinking it? And this problem was well known to Mr. Klarchek when he continued to sell homes to families here. As were the flooding problems and the nearly sixty year old water pipes and sewers that spew effluent and noxious gasses out from under our homes and down the streets with an Old Faithful like regularity.
The conditions here were well known to Loyola University when they accepted a ten million dollar gift from him too. That speaks volumes about their organizations leadership and charitable concerns. I would like to ask them the old refrain; “what would Jesus do?” But judging from their lack of concern as to the plight of their benefactors’ victims, they might not know who I was referring to.
Now the few residents that are left are trying in a desperate attempt to purchase the property as a resident owned cooperative where families can have clean drinking water and a stable home environment. But Lincoln Financial has discovered that by operating under a receivership and putting as little back into the property as possible while victimizing and pillaging the remaining residents from behind the guise of a court mandate they can net a tidy six figure profit each month on a property they will ultimately write down at the taxpayers expense, so why should they hurry to sell just for the sake of a few hundred poor families health and well being?
I have written to all our public officials numerous times, it has produced very little other than referrals to agencies that seem to have no function other than to perpetuate an ineffective and mostly ambivalent bureaucracy. And so as I come to the end of my personal ability to keep up the struggle here and teeter on the brink of financial devastation, it incenses me to hear about another agency, subcommittee, panel or fund being created to “help the working families” because we at Sunset Village are proof that they accomplish nothing other than to deliver just that many more patronage hogs to feed at the trough of the public largess, and the supposed recipients of their aid or protection are left to be victimized over and over again.
Dennis Glass the CEO of Lincoln Financial lives a fairly opulent lifestyle. Mitchell Feiger at MB Financial doesn’t lose sleep over what he has done to help accelerate and make worse the misery of Klarcheks victims. Steven Spinell the Receiver also seems to enjoy a fairly high standard of living by maximizing profits for multimillion dollar conglomerates at the expense of their poorest victims.
And of course, the most insidious purveyor of suffering, slumlord Richard Klarchek who despite causing the financial ruin and quite possibly the ill health of thousands of families across several states still has a multi-million dollar trust paying annuities and several large houses. No criminal charges, nothing but an interrupted golf game and minor changes to his social calendar. And all these individuals share one commonality; they go to great lengths to expound on their humanitarian endeavors and their self described consideration for those less fortunate.
Like executioners with a little pink hearts sewn into their black hoods, it’s of little comfort to their charges and a highly dubious measure of their benevolence.I can’t place all the blame on them. I am also to blame having elected to not pursue an education beyond high school. Consequently, my comprehension of protections (or lack thereof) afforded by contracts was woefully inadequate.But what about all the other victims? Who will be there for them? Another bureaucracy full of tin badge paper pushers? Baby kissing politicians that only come out to be re-elected? A legal system that’s only real precedent is to keep on keeping on?
For me, it doesn’t matter anymore. Unless I win the lottery this month my fate will be to join the hundreds before me losing my house to MB Financial and losing my only tangible investment asset to Lincoln Financial. But I guess there’s a bright side, the banks are making profits and paying back some of the billions of dollars we gave them as we afford them yet billions more in tax write offs for losses they helped to create. Maybe the CEO’s will get nice bonuses this year? Gee, I sure hope so….I’ll think about that when I am crammed into my old minivan with my family heading to who knows where?
Editor's note: In a previously published article, Long-Suffering Sunset Village Residents Face Foreclosure, Richard Klarchek spoke on the record with Patch to defend his management and operation of Sunset Village while he owned the property. Read the full story here.