The number of court cases filed by landlords over nonpayment of rent jumped about 19 percent in the first two months of 2009 from the same period last year, to 42,257 from 35,588. And lawyers, judges, and tenant advocates tell the Times that more and more middle-class renters are finding themselves in the unexpected position of facing eviction. The spectrum of "middle-class" includes a former Merrill Lynch employee thrown out of his $5,700/month Tribeca apartment (he owed $20,000 in back rent) as well as the single mom of three fighting to keep her $1,750/month apartment after losing her bookkeeping job (previously, she lost her house to foreclosure when she lost her job as a legal recruiter). Then there's Kevin Brewster-Streeks and his partner Greg Armstrong, both in their 20s and both buried in debt since Brewster-Streeks lost his $36,450 job as a records clerk at a law firm. After two bouts in housing court, they moved out of their $1,650/month Bronx apartment in February, owing nearly $7,000 in back rent. Brewster-Streeks says, "It’s kind of dehumanizing. They see you as a certain kind of person. We’ve never been that certain kind of person."