Process Servers Say Foreclosure Crisis Puts Them in Greater Danger
Process server Michael Root says that he knows how angry foreclosure notices can make homeowners — because one property owner almost killed him and members of his family.
As it turned out, Root wasn’t even bringing a foreclosure notice when, he said, he was attacked in June by a homeowner in Wingdale, N.Y.; it was a notice about a credit card bill. But according to Root, the man didn’t know that and he’d already been served notice of foreclosure on his home by another process server that day.
The man became so enraged at another legal notice, Root said, that he jumped on a nearby backhoe and drove it into Root’s car. “He raised the bucket and pushed it through the back window and almost cut my kid’s head off,” added Root, who said that he happened to have his wife and daughter with him that day.
That alleged attack — which resulted in criminal charges against the homeowner — is the kind of mayhem that process servers say they commonly confront as the messengers in our legal system. Although violence toward process servers has always been a problem, because they so often bring gloom to people’s doorsteps, those in the industry claim that the risks of their profession have only gotten worse as the housing crisis has pushed 4 million mortgage-holders out of their homes.