Slog Music

Music, Nightlife,
and Drinks

Friday, August 15, 2014

King County Sheriff Removes Barton Family from West Seattle House

Posted by on Fri, Aug 15, 2014 at 12:18 PM

The saga of the Barton family's fight against their foreclosure continued this morning, as King County Sheriff officers removed them—Jean Barton, a homeless shelter worker; Byron Barton, disabled Vietnam veteran; and Brandon, one of their adult sons—from their longtime West Seattle home and charged them with criminal trespass.

"There are no winners in this situation, not the least of which is Mr. Barton, who is gravely disabled, and was living in extremely unsanitary and therefore dangerous conditions," said Sheriff John Urquhart, echoing claims contested by Jean Barton and first made by Seattle Mayor Ed Murray on Wednesday.

"But Triangle Property Development, the lawful owner of the home, is a victim of bureaucratic inaction and back-and-forth finger-pointing between the City of Seattle and the Sheriff’s Office. That is inexcusable and that’s why I ordered today’s action," Urquhart added.

Representatives of the company, which bought the home at auction, occupied the house this morning and posted "no trespassing" signs on the property, said Sergeant DB Gates, who was on the scene.

Byron was loaded into an ambulance and transferred to a Veterans Affairs facility, Gates said. She's unclear on whether he was handcuffed. Jean and Brandon were processed and released from the sheriff's southwest precinct office. Criminal trespass charges for all three will be referred to prosecutors.

"We believe that the sheriff has acted outside their jurisdiction in arresting the Bartons," Jill Smith, the Bartons' attorney, tells me by phone.

"Byron was taken to the VA hospital and turned away, which I think is appalling," she added. She said they would not allow him to enter the premises. Byron—who has difficulty speaking due to a heart attack and stroke—was transferred to Harborview Medical Center.

He asked medical staff to call her, she said. For now, "they’re allowing him to stay there as shelter but they’re not going to formally admit him," according to Smith.

Jean Barton could not be reached by phone for comment. According to West Seattle Blog, she's returned to the neighborhood and is speaking with TV crews.

In a statement yesterday, activists from Standing Against Foreclosure and Eviction (SAFE) decried any attempt to eviction the Bartons while their lawsuit against Chase Bank and Quality Loan Services (QLS), alleging a myriad of legal violations, winds its way through the courts.

"The AG has already gone after QLS publicly, and put a [temporary] moratorium on foreclosures they're involved in," Randy Whitelock, a SAFE organizer, said. "They are the criminals, not the Bartons."

In March, Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced that QLS, one of the largest foreclosure trustees in Washington, had engaged in "unfair and deceptive business practices." The company had closed one office without informing homeowners, and some borrowers couldn't enter their Seattle office because it was "in a locked, poorly marked office building." Under a consent decree, QLS was required to send payments to about 450 homeowners and a moratorium was placed on all QLS foreclosures from February 27 and to April 3 of this year.

"The simple truth is that the city has no adequate resources for putting displaced citizens into stable, permanent housing, an issue that should be addressed by Mayor Murray in his mission to end veteran homelessness in Seattle," the SAFE statement added.

At a March dinner gathering with mortgage bankers, Murray made clear he would not support using the city's powers eminent domain powers to help Seattle homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages. The City Council, meanwhile, may, someday, do something to assist foreclosure-hit homeowners.


Comments (37) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
There's more detail, including a copy of the search warrant, over at WSB.
Posted by Phil M on August 15, 2014 at 12:41 PM · Report this
2 Comment Pulled (Trolling) Comment Policy
rob! 3
What is happening/will happen with their belongings, which "workers were boxing up and removing"?

My understanding of the usual course of events in an eviction (at least in my state) is that, once lockout occurs, personal effects remaining inside become the nominal property of the legal owner, who may store them for a period of time but is free to charge the evicted party "reasonable and customary fees" for packing and removal as well as storage. If they are unable to, in effect, ransom their belongings, the legal owner may auction them.

Is KCSO taking charge of the personal effects? If not, groups wishing to help the Bartons may want to find a way to secure their property somehow ASAP so that storage fees, interest, etc. do not accumulate.
Posted by rob! on August 15, 2014 at 12:54 PM · Report this
Were Kid Herz a journalist the ignorant boy would have done some fact checking. But the child isn't and never has nor will verify the accuracy of his wild claims.

Were the Bartons smart, they'd have cashed out a high maintenance home in conjunction with a developer and be entirely unconcerned about money. But they weren't. They used their home as a cash machine, got overdrawn and want someone else to pay for it.

As for SAFE, they make the drooling moron Kid Herz look like a Mensa candidate.

Mayor Murray? Well, he looks like the fool he is. Circumventing a lawful eviction based on public whining, then having to back down when he learned the facts a competent man would have started by obtaining- Murray's administration in a nutshell.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 15, 2014 at 1:08 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 5
As always, count on SB to bring the unintentional irony.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 15, 2014 at 1:51 PM · Report this
treacle 6
@5, I know, it's pretty amazing, right? Pretty consistent though, reliable humor at least.
Glad to know that Sheriff John Urquhart sympathizes that "There are no winners in this situation" as he takes sides with a corporation's monetary interests, over the clearly vulnerable people he allegedly "serves and protects".

Good job guys! Way to show your colors.
Posted by treacle on August 15, 2014 at 1:57 PM · Report this
It would be nice to hear a real, fact-filled story about how the Bartons got into trouble and what the lender had (allegedly) done wrong.

But no, that might change the Stranger socialist narrative of capitalist pigs vs. poor working class heroes.

Posted by caution&daring on August 15, 2014 at 2:07 PM · Report this

You'd rather a sheriff ignore lawful orders given by lawful courts? Sort of make up what laws and court orders he or she will obey or enforce as they feel like it?

The Bartons owned their home. They, by defaulting on a valid contract (mortgage) sold it to the bank in effect. When the bank to whom they made no payments for 3 years sold the home the Bartons no longer owned to someone else, they refused to move. Out of somebody else property.

You absolutely sure this is who you want for poster child in your hatred of banks?

All right then! You and Kid Herz can try to learn to tie your shoes together, with Murray and the idiots at SAFE. Or maybe you can skip that Sisyphean task and just get loafers, m'kay?
Posted by Seattleblues on August 15, 2014 at 2:17 PM · Report this
@Mile High Matt

Care to tell me which facts I have wrong?

No? I didn't actually get any wrong? Hmmm!
Posted by Seattleblues on August 15, 2014 at 2:19 PM · Report this
rob! 10
@5, 6, 7: yeah, irony. No winners in this situation except for Triangle Property Development.

So let's turn to practicalities. The locks will have been changed and the sheriffs told to drive by occasionally, so the Bartons won't be coming back. As I asked @3, what is happening with their belongings? Were you or I separated suddenly from our erstwhile personal belongings, there might be all kinds of things we'd need over the weekend (clothes, medicine, important papers, address book, etc.—imagine your house just burned down).

By doing this on a Friday as opposed to a Monday, the KCSO has likely created the maximum delay in the Bartons getting access to any of their things.

Any response to @3? Or have Ansel and Phil M. wrung this one dry and punched out for the week, leaving it to the kibitzing commenters?
Posted by rob! on August 15, 2014 at 2:20 PM · Report this
So the dude inherits a home. Takes out a $400,000 mortgage. Then refuses to pay it. Hell of an ATM there.

Also he's a Navy veteran. In Vietnam the only action he most likely saw was in a whore house in Subic Bay.
Posted by Sugartit on August 15, 2014 at 2:27 PM · Report this
@3, @10

Jean Barton is giving interviews to TV crews in front of the house; if she's worried about finding a toothbrush to use over the weekend, she'll probably mention it.

Just tune in to KIRO or KOMO tonight, that's where you'll find information about the family's immediate concerns.
Posted by robotslave on August 15, 2014 at 2:40 PM · Report this
Matt from Denver 13
@ 9, that's not what "irony" means, you daft ignoramus. Hahahahaha...

No, when the following words pass from YOUR lips, THEN we have some irony!



"But [anyone other than SB] isn't and never has nor will verify the accuracy of his wild claims."

High comedy! You've posted more fact free ravings by yourself than everyone else put together.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 15, 2014 at 2:59 PM · Report this

If you follow this logic to its nth conclusion, then SLOG and any supporters of the Barton's are advocating that, no matter your economic position, you are entitled to have a nice single family home in Seattle. At no cost.


I vote for that.
Posted by Supreme Ruler Of The Universe http://_ on August 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM · Report this

hey dumbass, the sheriff was merely enforcing the law - something you schmucks have no clue about.
Posted by get a clue you freak on August 15, 2014 at 3:55 PM · Report this
I have a request into Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata's office to pressure the King County Council so that King County may undertake an audit of the King County Recording Office. Without an audit of the forgeries, back-dated documents, counterfeited documents filed in this office, the State Legislature does not have DATA to understand how massive the fraud is.

I wish all of you: those of you concerned about these homeowners; sellers and buyers of real estate; and homeowners who *believe* wrongly that these crimes do not affect them (THEY DO!) would contact CM Nick Licata's office and support this effort for an audit. I have shown a County Councilmember that one of his own documents was forged. I have shown a State Senator that their "Deed of Satisfaction" was forged. Both of those people were not in default. So, these crimes affect ALL property owners in the State of Washington and frankly in this nation.

Perhaps if we have a full accounting of what is recorded in King County and provide real DATA, the State Legislature will finally pass the FOUR homeowner bills that they totally ignored last session. These four bills were HB 2656, HB 2657, HB 2658, and HB 2659. Stealing a home in the State of Washington should be a felony, don't you think?

If you are a homeowner in distress, please go to RealPropertyResolutions dot com (website coming soon). We will assist you with the mediation program offered by the WA State Foreclosure Fairness Act and help you achieve a successful resolution.
Posted by GuyFawkes on August 15, 2014 at 4:09 PM · Report this
ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ 17
@8: "You'd rather a sheriff ignore lawful orders given by lawful courts? Sort of make up what laws and court orders he or she will obey or enforce as they feel like it?"

Now THAT is ironic.
You not only refuse to comply with a law that has been upheld by the highest legislative and judicial authorities in the country but insist that it is your right to do so without fear of consequences. You proudly brag that you violated state anti-discrimination laws and maintain that you are well within your rights to do so. You refuse to recognize the right of our elected representatives to exercise Congress's powers explicitly granted by the 16th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.
But if a local court issues a ruling you agree with, well, everyone better follow it! Some respect you have for the rule of law.
Posted by ɥsɐןɯouǝʌ on August 15, 2014 at 4:16 PM · Report this
You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me 18
Eviction aside… WTF?
Why can’t this guy get medical care?
I thought Obamacare was supposed to fix all that shit…
Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me on August 15, 2014 at 4:57 PM · Report this
Just Jeff 19
About time. Sorry folks. You fucked up.
Posted by Just Jeff on August 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
seatackled 20
How come Seattleblues never seems to get any twisted panties over drug posts?
Posted by seatackled on August 15, 2014 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Wait, the dude was worth half a million dollars, inherited, and cashed it in? Practically in the 1%. Glad Anshole has his back.
Posted by Sugartit on August 15, 2014 at 5:26 PM · Report this
This excerpt for a Federal District court case TODAY:
"From its inception, Mr. Knecht’s deed of trust ran afoul of the Deed of Trust Act by designating MERS as its beneficiary. The Act declares that the beneficiary of a deed of trust is “the holder of the instrument or document evidencing the obligations secured by the deed of trust . . . .” RCW 61.24.005(2). Banks and other well-heeled financial interests, in an effort to facilitate the easy transfer of mortgage obligations, created MERS in the mid 1990s. Bain, 285 P.3d at 39-40. MERS is, in essence, a database for tracking mortgage rights that permits MERS’s member institutions to transfer mortgage obligations without publicly recording the transfers. Id. In Washington, lenders hoping to take advantage of the MERS system designated MERS as the beneficiary of deeds of trust, just as ABC did in Mr. Knecht’s deed of trust. But it is now clear that Washington law does not permit MERS to act as a beneficiary unless it is also the “holder” of the note secured by the deed of trust. Bain, 285 P.2d at 47.

There is no suggestion that MERS ever held Mr. Knecht’s note, and yet it purported in April 2010 to assign to DB “the Promissory Note secured by [the Knecht] deed of trust and also all rights accrued or to accrue under said Deed of Trust.” The assignment, which is recorded in King County, was executed by “MERS as nominee for [ABC],” but there is no evidence that ABC actually authorized MERS to effect the transfer. See Bavand v. OneWest Bank, FSB, 309 P.3d 636, 649 (Wash. Ct. App. 2013) (noting MERS’s failure to establish its agency relationship with a noteholder).

There is no dispute in this case that MERS lacked the power to transfer anything to DB. DB does not rest its claim to be the beneficiary of Mr. Knecht’s deed of trust on the MERS assignment, or at least it does not do so in these motions. Indeed, DB consistently refuses to acknowledge that MERS purported to assign not only the deed of trust, but Mr. Knecht’s note as well. DB avoids the MERS assignment, it appears, because it prefers that the court not focus on that apparently void transfer of the deed of trust and note. DB prefers that the court conclude that it acquired its interest in the deed of trust and note without MERS’s assistance.

Even assuming that Mr. Knecht bears the burden to prove that DB is not the beneficiary of his deed of trust, an issue the court does not decide,3the evidence he has provided is sufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact that only a trial can resolve. Mr. Knecht has offered two pieces of evidence: his original note and deed of trust, in which DB held no interest; and the MERS assignment, which was a legal nullity. A trier of fact could determine that this evidence makes it more likely than not that DB has no valid interest in Mr. Knecht’s note or deed of trust."

We Homeowners are winning! RealPropertyResolutions dot com.
Posted by GuyFawkes on August 15, 2014 at 5:39 PM · Report this
GuyFuckes keeps screws on his tinfoil hat and tries desperately to make excuses for a deadbeat that didnt pay his mortagage for 3 YEARS....AFTER he pulled $660k in fun money!

go shoot yourself you lazy crackpot.
Posted by can I have my mortgage for FREE? on August 15, 2014 at 6:26 PM · Report this

So what you have us petty insults?

Again, the Bartons made no payments on a lawful mortgage for 3 years. When their house was foreclosed on, they trespassed on somebody else property until yesterday. They spent an amount even the twits at SAFE agree to be north of $400,000 in home equity. These are facts. (Look it up, I think you'll find the word surprising!)

Any dispute with them or is deflection by insult all ya got Sport?
Posted by Seattleblues on August 16, 2014 at 8:07 AM · Report this

First, civil disobedience, despite what lefty loonies think, assumes willingness to accept the consequences.

But, more importantly, Sheriff Urqhart is a sworn officer of the law. For good reason we ask them to be impartial enforcers of the will of the people as expressed through their legislatures and courts.

Put another way- you don't believe in contractual obligations or property rights. So a sheriff who protects either makes you mad. What if a sheriff refused to enforce something with which you and I agree. If a guy puts up black and white bathrooms and a court tells him to stop- should a sheriff who agrees with the racist refuse the court order?
Posted by Seattleblues on August 16, 2014 at 8:16 AM · Report this
venomlash 26
@25: "First, civil disobedience, despite what lefty loonies think, assumes willingness to accept the consequences."
Are you saying that you'll accept the consequences of violating federal law with regard to the whole health insurance dealie? Because that's not what you've said previously. I quote:
"The federal government feels mistakenly like it has the right to force me to buy a financial tool I don't need or want.
It hasn't . I won't. Nor will I pay one damn dime in fines for being an American citizen who believes in his liberty." (Source.)
"My insurance agent has my order to keep our non compliant catastrophic care coverage in place. My accountant knows that I'll pay not one fucking dime in fines now or ever." (Source.)
As usual, you say one thing and then say another completely different and contradictory to the first and then insist that you're never wrong.

Also, I'm not speaking in favor of the evicted family. I haven't followed the story closely enough to have an educated opinion one way or the other. One difference between me and you is that I don't make vast sweeping proclamations about stuff I don't know anything about.
I'm not saying that officers of the law should refuse to follow orders based solely on their personal opinions. You, however, have said precisely that in this thread*. I'm saying that you're a raging hypocrite for demanding that people respect laws that you like while simultaneously flouting laws that you happen to disagree with.

*Yes, I know, you said there that people engaging in civil disobedience should be prepared to face the consequences of such actions. How do I square that with your insistence on not facing any consequences related to your proud violation of federal law relating to the ACA? Well, it seems to me that you think only OTHER PEOPLE should have to face consequences for taking a stand on a moral issue of opinion. Correct me if I'm wrong; otherwise please do shut your ignorant face and keep your witless fingers off your misbegotten keyboard.
Posted by venomlash on August 16, 2014 at 9:45 AM · Report this
@Boy wonder VL

So, you don't actually have anything to say about the eviction of these trespassers?

Well, progress of a kind, I guess.

Two things though, kiddo. First, your moral outrage at what you consider hypocrisy, your need to exhaustively study a comment history for integrity or consistency? These would hold more power if you turned that laser eye on the lying Stranger 'journalists' on occasion, of on those whose child worldview you share.

Second, I'm not in the habit of taking orders from boys, or caring much about their puerile insults. Save yourself some typing if you wish and keep to actual points.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 16, 2014 at 10:41 AM · Report this
I think the mayor and city council are hoping this problem goes back under the rug. Thanks to SAFE it may not.
Posted by Oldmesenger82 on August 16, 2014 at 10:53 AM · Report this

The Bartons are suing for 4.8 million dollars, not for the house. That's a matter of public record, nothing is "under the rug," with or without SAFE.

It looks to me like the family has been swindled by a sweet-talking attorney who has promised them the moon but has no case to speak of. The imaginary basis for the current suit has already been thrown out of court, twice, for having no merit, but the lawyer preying on the family can and will keep filing more and more suits, so long as the Bartons can be snookered into paying for it.

SAFE is an admirable organization, but in this case it looks like they've been manipulated into serving the interests of an unscrupulous courtroom charlatan.
Posted by robotslave on August 16, 2014 at 11:29 AM · Report this
From what I've read this is the typical fraudclosure event from Chase, with neither Chase nor Triangle able to show the original mortgage documentation which establishes ownership, according to the courts, a MERS number will not suffice.

Obviously an illegal eviction and illegal arrest by the King County Police (and how many illegal arrests have they made in the past, resulting in endless taxpayer dollars flowing to the injured parties?
Posted by sgt_doom on August 16, 2014 at 11:34 AM · Report this
venomlash 31
@27: Exactly! I never had anything to say about the Bartons or the sheriff. It's all about YOU, Princess.

I've called out Stranger journalists plenty of times. I criticize Savage for being too hard on theists. I get on Mudede's ass for gawdawful science reporting. I don't post about it much, but I agree that Kelly O. was being dumb as hell and honestly offensive by dressing in a costume that included blackface. So I guess what I'm saying is that it's not all about YOU, Princess.

Except that this time it is all about YOU, Princess. You're the one with a track record of saying ridiculous bullshit, the sort of thing that's not just a differing opinion but is objectively untrue, and then running away from it without even admitting you were wrong. You're the one who has to be CAUGHT in a lie, who won't confess intellectual dishonesty unless someone else shoves it in your face (and usually not even then).

Posted by venomlash on August 16, 2014 at 11:35 AM · Report this

Know what all these "fraudclosure" events have in common, Sergeant Tinfoil?

No? Well, from the depths of your paranoid delusions knowing what year it is probably taxes your resources. So I'll help you out.

All of them involved people who weren't paying their mortgages.

Know why I have no fear of "fraudclosure" Sarge?

It's unorthodox I know, but I paid my mortgage. On time. It's paid off now, but no bank could touch me when I had one because I PAID MY MORTGAGE.

So whinge on about banksters and Chase and all your other delusional notions. Not one person who paid their note lost their house.

And for what it's worth I couldn't possibly care any less about people who are underwater. I've made good and bad investments and learned from both. And in both I lived up to my contractual obligations. And I didn't ask for eminent domain or technicalities or general bullshit to avoid them.
Posted by Seattleblues on August 16, 2014 at 11:58 AM · Report this
Matt from Denver 33
@ 24, you are, as usual, comprehension impaired.

Your ironic insults, which describe yourself much more accurately than your targets, are the sole focus of my comments.

Ya daft ignoramus.
Posted by Matt from Denver on August 16, 2014 at 3:37 PM · Report this
The Sheriff office did not serve an eviction. It arrested them for unlawful trespass. Clearly this is a severe hardship on the evictees but lawful nonetheless. You're throwing around "illegal" as if it should conform to what you think it should be instead of what it actually is. Change the law... or maybe support a charitable effort to house this guy lawfully (wow there's an idea), but claiming an arrest is illegal when it clearly isn't is either dishonest or ill-informed.
Posted by Jim Detwiler on August 17, 2014 at 8:32 AM · Report this
35 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
venomlash 36
@27: Just a reminder that when I caught you lying through your keys your response was to complain that I don't focus the same scrutiny on people who don't lie on SLOG nearly as much as you do.

@34: Shh, sgt_doom is cuckoo for cocoa puffs, and also just plain cuckoo. He doesn't understand things.
Posted by venomlash on August 17, 2014 at 12:13 PM · Report this
Sherriff Urquhart can override any judge by the way. He did the right thing and upheld the law regardless of what's wrong or right. Urquhart for mayor..
Posted by Jiggers on August 22, 2014 at 7:48 PM · Report this

Add a comment


All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC
1535 11th Ave (Third Floor), Seattle, WA 98122
Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy