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Blacklisted By The System
Oaklands Renters Feel The
Blacklisted By The System
Oakland Ca--January 31,2001
By Lynda Carson
Oakland Ca--Oaklands eviction for profit system has local renters finding out that they have been Blacklisted by the system.No Cause 30 Day Evictions have skyrocketed during the past year,as landlords want to cash in on the efforts to gentrify Oakland.The result is that renters find that credit checks later reveal the evictions thru TRW,the
U.D. Registry,and the National Tenant Network which offers a Tenant Performance Profile for a fee.Due to no cause of their own,renters find that they have been Blacklisted by this system when landlords use 30 Day No Cause Evictions to evict for profit.The worst offender
in the use of Blacklisting has been the U.D. Registry,which is used by many landlords thruout California,Nevada,
Oregon,and Washington.After placed on this firms list you have little chance of finding a place to rent in California.
What makes the U.D. Registry worse than the other credit reporting agencies is that they register merely the accusation of a landlord and continue to report your name as a bad renter even if you win in court against your accuser.After receipt of a 5 Day Summons/Eviction Notice in California,credit reporting agencies put evictee\'s on their list after 60 Days have passed.The eviction report may remain on the list for the next 10 years in California and neighboring states.If you are in Oakland to file an Anwser to the 5 Day summons to fight the eviction you must do so at 600 Washington Street,Rm 4020.Once there you might notice two computer terminals available to the public to look up public records,case file numbers,etc...
Often in the afternoons,theres a tall lanky white fellow,
with graying hair that sits at one of the terminals.He has
a thermos bottle to keep his coffee warm,with munchies to snack on,while he feels right at home as though he works there.He works for TRW,and weekly he down loads the latest cases/names of people being evicted thru the courts of Oakland.During the interview,he asked to remain anonymous while he sat there with his lap top telling me that it\'s a shame that they have to wait for 60 days before they can file the eviction reports after a renter was served a 5 Day Summons.It used to be,that often a credit reporting agency knew when a renter was being evicted before the renter was aware of it.Lawyers would
solicit business by contacting the soon to be evicted renter by letter seeking their business,and informing the unfortunate renter that they are about to be evicted.When I asked the fellow from TRW,\"hows it feel to be the one Blacklisting many innocent renters\",by reporting on the evictions even if the renter wins in court?Makes no difference to him,he says,if it\'s in the public records it\'s
his to take back to the credit agency.Besides he claims,
landlords can do anything they want with their property,
and landlords want to know if someone has been evicted.
When I pointed out that people are not property,he got angry.End of that interview.It was back in 1991 that the
California Legislature enacted a law aimed at protecting renters from landlords that unfairly denied them housing
because of reports that listed them as being involved in past eviction proceedings.This 1991 law generaly barred consumer credit reporting agencies from providing such information unless the landlords actually won the proceeding and an eviction occurred.The law was eventualy challenged in court in the case\"Cisnero VS U.D.Registry Inc\"
by the U.D.Registry and the Apartment Association of
Greater Los Angeles.Ruled by a state judge that the law
was unconstitutional--a violation of the First Amendments free-speech guarantees,tenant rights organizations fought back.This bad law was appealed but a state appeals court upheld that ruling,and the California Supreme Court declined to hear Cisneros\' ensueing appeal.It was on January 16,1996,that the Supreme Court declined to revive the ivalidated law that was enacted to protect good renters from being Blacklisted.In this day and age of evictions for profit,that law is needed now more than ever
to stop the unjust system that creates homelessness.
Renters are outraged to find they have been Blacklisted
by a merciless system based upon greed and deception.Oaklands renters would be far better served with a Just Cause Evictions Measure that would protect them from the unfair treatment that 30 Day No Cause Evictions create.To be Blacklisted for the next 10 years by some of
the unscrupulous credit reporting agencies,is a penalty most unjust.