Thousands of Detroiters are at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure, but help is out there.Joan Lee knew she needed some help. She owned a home on Detroit's west side, then bought the drug house next door to help clean up her neighborhood. She was about to lose them both to foreclosure for delinquent property taxes - but not anymore.
"I'm good. I was paying $400 and now I'm paying $180," she says.
Lee took advantage of the programs now available to help homeowners stay in their homes, like a new law that reduced interest on overdue taxes. The law slashed it from 18 percent to 6 percent. Elected officials can't say it enough.
"I do not want your property but I'm governed by state law," says Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz.
"City government, county government - we don't want these properties. We want individuals to be able to stay in their homes," says Detroit City Councilman Gabe Leland.
Officials say about 18,000 owner occupied homes were in danger of foreclosure. More than 7 thousand families have already gotten help, but 10,000 more are in danger of losing their homes and the deadline to enter into a payment plan is March 31.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says, "We're here today to say, you have three weeks left. March 31st is the deadline!"
"Help us help you avoid foreclosure. The time is now. There's no time to wait," says Deputy Treasurer Dave Szymanski.
It's recommended homeowners don't wait until the last minute.
Lee is sharing her story to help others get the help they need.
"Don't be afraid. Get up and go. Help is there," she says.
How to get help
The Wayne County Treasurer's Office is located at 400 Monroe, Suite 530 in Greektown. For more information, please call 313-224-6105 or email email@example.com. More information also can be found at www.waynecounty.com/treasurer.
These upcoming workshops also are available for residents to learn more.
Wednesday, March 11th 4:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m
Hosted by U-Snap-Bac
U-Snap-Bac 14901 E. Warren, Detroit, MI 48224
Friday, March 13th 11:00 a.m. - 1:00 PM
Hosted by City Covenant Church
City Covenant Church 13624 Stout, Detroit, MI 48223
Saturday, March 14th 1:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Hosted by Marygrove College Institute for Detroit Studies
Marygrove College - Madame Cadillac Hall, 8425 W. McNichols, Detroit, MI 48221
Saturday, March 21st 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Hosted by GESU Catholic Church
GESU Catholic Church 17180 Oak Drive, Detroit, MI 48221
Saturday, March 28th 10:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Hosted by U-Snap-Bac
Samaritan Center 5555 Conner, Detroit, MI 48213