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ACORN Keeps Members' Dues After Bankruptcy | Print |  
Written by Bruce Walker   
Sunday, 20 March 2011 20:31

ACORN1ACORN has been exposed as a fraud in many recent undercover investigations. Its staff has advised people how to purchase homes for use as brothels for underage immigrant girls. ACORN itself has been implicated in many voter fraud operations, which included registering as voter household pets, imaginary people, and convicted felons. The image of this organization is increasingly perceived as unsavory and dishonest, but — its apologists seem to believe — at least it is sticking up for the “little guy.” A story out of Delaware, however, makes that claim about ACORN dubious.

Kerry Sheldon in 2009 signed up to join ACORN so that she could receive mortgage counseling. She was worried about losing her home through foreclosure. Sheldon explained her feeling at the time: “It didn’t seem like a bad deal. I was excited somebody was going to help me.” Her dues to ACORN were $10 a month and those dues were automatically taken out of her credit union checking account. Sheldon, however, never heard from ACORN and the help that ACORN promised with her mortgage never materialized. Finally, Kerry Sheldon went directly to the mortgage lender to made arrangements to fix the problem that she had with her mortgage.
She also tried to cancel the monthly withdrawals from her checking account, but she received no response from ACORN. Her credit union advised her that she could end the monthly payments to ACORN by closing her credit union checking account, but she and her husband, who were struggling to maintain a good credit rating, did not want to do that. So ACORN continued to receive her monthly dues, even after she had quit the organization and asked that the automatic deductions from her credit union account stop. In November 2010, Kerry Sheldon learned that ACORN had gone into Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The association she joined disbanded. Sheldon expected that the withdrawals from her checking account would stop at that point, but the deductions continued each month (the last deduction was in early March 2011.)
According to Joseph W. Shulter, a bankruptcy attorney who was contacted about the matter by FoxNews, it is illegal for ACORN to continue to deduct money from Sheldon’s checking account: “Under liquidation they must cancel auto withdrawals.  Had they filed to reorganize, they would be able.” ACORN’s  bankruptcy attorney, Arthur Z. Schwartz, told FoxNews that there was no way that ACORN could have continued to withdraw payments from members’ account: “It’s can’t be true. It’s impossible because we don’t have a bank account. If anyone wanted to cut off their withdrawals, they could.” Schwartz said that instructions on how to cancel the membership were sent out to all ACORN members in that April 2010 letter. Schwartz said that it was possible that Sheldon did not fill out the forms properly.
Matthew Vadum is a senior editor with the Capital Research Center. He specializes in non-profit organizations. Vadum said that ACORN has historically been an organization that has made it hard for people to quit their memberships. He told FoxNews: “People decide they don’t want to be members anymore, but the membership deductions kept going. The question is if they did it intentionally or if it was an honest mistake.”

ACORN 8 is an organization formed by ex-ACORN employees. This organization says that it has received reports from ex-ACORN members across the nation who have told ACORN 8 that they, too, have resigned from ACORN but have continued to have their dues deducted from their checking accounts. This criticism by ACORN 8 is not based upon any philosophical hostility to the leftist agenda of ACORN. In fact, ACORN 8 describes itself as composed of “typically loyal Democrats” who “share a passionate about helping the underserved.”
These sorts of practices — making it hard for members to quit and continuing to deduct dues after members want to quit — sound like the sort of bad conduct that ACORN, as defender of the little guy, would have pilloried in the court of public opinion and perhaps sued, if done by a health club or security alarm company. The free market, without social organizers like ACORN interfering, rewards and punishes businesses based upon how they treat customers.  Organizations like ACORN, however, behave just like the caricatures of exploitive robber barons who ignore the rights of the people.

Comments (1)add comment

ACORN8 said:

We've bee saying this for 3 nearly 3 years.
At ACORN's height Bertha Lewis the Head Organizer of ACORN boasted of a membership upwards of 500,000+. Now, if only half of those membership(120.00 per year) dues continued to be deducted after they were supposedly defunct, well that's a whole lot of money it may be millions.

We (ACORNsmilies/cool.gifbrought these complaints to the attention of the DOJ/FBI in 2009. We filed our original complaint, in over a dozen locations throughout the Us including D.C.Go to our website and read our complaint along with our calls for ACORN to be defunded until a full investigation took place. That investigation never took place,which is how the people who were responsible escaped being investigated. Go to our website, where our complaint is available along with supporting documents.

A small,but extremely important correction ACORN8 is not and never was made up of employees. ACORN8 is/was made up of the leaders directors, state and city leaders,no employees had there own organization, which we supported.

Go to our website and read our complaint and read our calls for ACORN to be defunded until a full investigation took place. That investigation never took place,which is how they escaped. Go to our website, where our complaint is available along with the calls for ACORN to be defunded. Not only is ACORN not really defunct,but is now regrouping to quite possibly becoming stronger than ever.

Marcel Reid
March 21, 2011

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