Working with these agents is like eating flies

A tipster forwarded me the latest mugshot of Jerome Bressert, a rental services agent who was recently arrested in DuPage County on a domestic battery charge. Bressert had a previous DuPage arrest for “endangering the health or life of a child.” He is, of course, innocent of any criminal charges until proven otherwise. He is guilty of having been affiliated with a rental service / apartment locator / apartment finder.

The June 2013 Disciplinary Report (pdf) from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation notes the issuance of licenses in a probationary status to several individuals who have prior felony convictions. One individual racked up three felony convictions.

This isn’t the first time we’re alerting renters to the possibility that they may be getting into a car with, visiting vacant apartments with, and handing off their identifying information to a rental agent with a criminal background. See here, here and here.

Real estate consumers in Chicago have thousands of experienced agents associated with reputable firms to choose from when they’re buying, renting or selling. Choosing one with a criminal record reminds me of H.L. Mencken’s racially-offensive take on the 1924 election of Calvin Coolidge.

The American people, having 35,717,342 native-born adult whites to choose from, including thousands who are handsome and many who are wise, pick out the Hon. Mr. Coolidge to be the head of state. It is as if a hungry man set before a banquet prepared by master chefs and covering a table an acre in area, should turn his back on the feast and stay his stomach by catching and eating flies.

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