Homeowners sue Wayne County, claim notices not issued on foreclosed homes

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Wayne County homeowners are fighting back in a desperate attempt to hang on to their homes. They say the county failed to warn them they were facing foreclosure until it was too late.

A Westland couple says their home of 22 years has been wrongfully foreclosed by Wayne County. But they're facing an uphill battle: the house has already been auctioned off.

Ron and Bernice King told FOX 2's Hannah saunders they feel like they're in a nightmare. The couple, who have lived in their Westland house for over two decades, say they knew they owed $3,000 in back taxes - and that's precisely why they set up a payment plan three years ago.

"The third year, no certified mailing - no notice in the mail for certified mailing," said Ron King. "So I made a phone call, I have proof of a four minute phone call. No call back. They've always called me back."

Then they noticed something really odd and said they were actually tipped off that something was up, by their neighbors.

"My neighbors said they started seeing people looking at the house and taking pictures," King said.

They found out their house had been foreclosed on and sold to someone else for $40,000 at a Wayne County auction.

Today, Ron and Bernice are in limbo; they can stay in the house, for now, because of an order to withhold the issuance of the deed. That order will hold while their case is pending but they've already gone before a state of judgement and lost.

For now, they're appealing and they have an attorney on their side.

"When the county got information telling them that this very important notice did not get delivered they sat on their hands," attorney Andy Strahan said.

The Kings join at least a dozen other families also suing Wayne County, claiming they didn't receive proper notices.

Fox 2 contacted the Wayne County's treasurer for comment, but we have not received a response. The King's believe the department is not doing nearly enough to work with homeowners, before making a quick profit.

"How long are we gonna have a place to stay," said Bernice King.

"She cried for two weeks," Ron said.