still being tallied, but on Tuesday, Joe Walsh, who lost his Evanston condo to foreclosure in October 2009, still had a 350-vote lead over the incumbent, Melissa Bean...">

With Joe Walsh, the Northwest Suburbs May Send a Foreclosed Homeowner to Congress

In an era when foreclosures are rampant, Illinois’s 8th District may have tapped a foreclosed homeowner to represent it in Congress. Final votes are still being tallied, but on Tuesday, Joe Walsh, who lost his Evanston condo to foreclosure in October 2009, still had a 350-vote lead over the incumbent, Melissa Bean…


Joe Walsh's foreclosed condo in Evanston

In an era when foreclosures are rampant, Illinois’s 8th District may have tapped a foreclosed homeowner to represent it in Congress. Final votes are still being tallied, but on Tuesday, Joe Walsh, who lost his Evanston condo to foreclosure in October 2009, still had a 350-vote lead over the incumbent, Melissa Bean.

Walsh’s foreclosure first surfaced last spring, when he seemed to be a weak contender against a strong incumbent. But now that Walsh may be headed to Washington, D.C, I’ve been wondering how his foreclosure might affect his stance on House votes related to the housing crisis.

Walsh has declined my requests for an interview, but on Monday, his campaign manager, Nick Provenzano, told me that he believes the foreclosure helped cement voters’ interest in Walsh. “The regular Joes out there—Joe the barber, Joe the painter, Josephine the businesswoman—are experiencing dramatic financial difficulties,” Provenzano said. “They want someone representing them in Congress who has lived through the pain they have. Joe was the right candidate in difficult times.”

Walsh issued a statement last spring in which he said that the foreclosure “helped me gain a better appreciation for the very real economic anxieties felt by 8th District families, many of whom are just a paycheck or two away from facing similar difficulties. Frankly, the perspective I gained from this challenge helped me grow as a person and I believe will make me a better representative of working people’s interests in Washington.”

According to the Cook County Recorder of Deeds, the newly divorced Walsh bought a fourth-floor condo in Evanston for $320,500 in May 2004, with a mortgage of $288,450, or 90 percent of the sale price. In September 2006, he took out a new mortgage, for $303,500, this time with Helene Miller, whom he had recently married and who would later be the treasurer of his Congressional campaign.

In last spring’s statement, Walsh said that he tried to sell the condo from 2006 until 2008. “By 2008 with no buyers in a down real-estate market,” he said, “I found myself struggling to keep up with two homes, and five children. I accepted responsibility for the situation and worked with my bank to foreclose on the condo.” In September 2008, according to the Cook County recorder, HSBC, which held Walsh’s mortgage, issued notification that it was beginning foreclosure. In October 2009, Walsh forfeited the condo’s deed. In March 2010, another buyer bought the condo for $275,000, or 85 percent of what Walsh had paid six years earlier.

Walsh now lives in McHenry—I could not determine whether he owns his home there or rents, as he did in Winnetka after moving from Evanston—an area that is fast becoming familiar with foreclosure. In October, the Woodstock Institute reported that McHenry County and Northwest Cook County—both of which have large sections in the 8th District—were the two parts of the metropolitan area with the biggest surges in new foreclosures in the third quarter of 2010.

If the vote count goes his way, Walsh will not be the first member of Congress to have dealt with foreclosure. But he could be one who, in Provenzano’s words, “relates to the average Joes out there [who are] struggling to keep their homes.”

Share

comments
3 years ago
Posted by Real News

Dennis, what was your intent with this article ?
Joe won the election. Get over it. Everything you wrote
here is old and stale. Nothing new.
The following link pretty well sums it up.

http://smartgirlpolitics.ning.com/profiles/blogs/chicagoland-dogs-dont-bark

3 years ago
Posted by Dennis Rodkin

Real News, my only intent was to point out a sign of the times: that a person whose home was foreclosed was chosen to go to Congress. I though it was noteworthy that Walsh having lost a home in foreclosure did not turn into a fatal flaw of his candidacy; in this era when so many people are familiar with foreclosure, his foreclosure does not seem to have stopped him. Just a few years ago, it might very well have been the one thing that killed his shot at the seat.
I don't know that there's anything for me to 'get over.' I was neither in favor of nor opposed to Walsh winning the seat, and I think the story we posted shows that. We stuck with facts--no judgments of Walsh or of his opponent. You may feel the facts are old and stale, but they were made relevant by his winning the race (or, at the time we posted the story, his looking like he was going to come out as the winner).

3 years ago
Posted by Real News

You are so right Dennis.
Thanks for your reply.
It does make for a good story, after all.
I think some people tried to use this as an attack
on Joe Walsh. I know his opponent did.
Your friend,
Once again,
Real News

2 years ago
Posted by jessie

Surprise, surprise I thought most dead beat dads went to jail,

not Congress!

After his divorce, Joe Walsh went out and purchased a condo he

could not afford for well over $300,000 while he neglected to

pay child support for his five children. He subsequently

foreclosed on his condo!Wow that's some value system!!!!!

It appears the rules for taking responsibility for your actions

simply don't apply to this loud mouth Republican candidate.

Shame on him!!!!!!

Submit your comment