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Foreclosures and Public Figures
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Dear Editor: I have been reading the Newton County legals in The Covington News since the early 1950s. Back then, the foreclosure advertisements might have one or two sheriff’s sales of personal property on the square, and you probably only saw 12 to 14 real property foreclosures in a year. You more than likely knew the mortgagor, and you were certainly familiar with the addresses. I have just completed reading the 50 (again 50) pages of real property foreclosures for the month of August in The Covington News. For the first eight months of this year, the total of pages of foreclosures would be around 300. The saying "You’ve come a long way, baby," certainly applies.

The mortgagors in these foreclosures fall into four categories: builders, husbands and wives, single women and mixed names. Many of the builders indebtedness run over $10 million and up, usually from the purchase of a farm where they intended a subdivision, but they never paid for the land. Many of the mortgagee banks are shown as "successor to" or "successor by merger." This means the banks went belly-up from bad real estate loans and were taken over by the FDIC. Newton County has some of these.

Most of the single women’s indebtedness ran from around $100 thousand to a quarter of a million dollars. I am confused about the judgment used by loan officers in approving these loans. I wonder where all the jobs were in the Newton and Metro area that carried the required salary that would insure the payment of these loans.

The employees of the city of Covington have been well represented in recent foreclosures. One employee’s foreclosure notice ran six or seven times. This, also, I do not understand. Several city policemen’s properties have run in the legals. One policeman who heads a major crime unit has had six foreclosures. I thought our city should have financial responsibility and moral turpitude requirements in their personnel policy. These are placed to prevent the temptations regarding graft, corruption and bribes.

The city of Porterdale Police Department was also represented with high frequency with officers’ foreclosures. Most law enforcement agencies require that their officers keep their own houses in order. I wonder what these officers’ credit scores are.

The overall economic and moral fiber of Newton County seems to be sinking faster than the Titanic heading for the iceberg. I am sure that the self-anointed or so-called "movers and shakers" in Newton County will put out a call for Marshal John Barleycorn to come riding into the county on a white horse, wearing a white hat and save the day.

You reap what you sow.