Wayne County Treasurer extends deadline to June 8 to avoid foreclosure

The previously announced extension was May 12 for owner occupants to avoid tax foreclosure this year, but on Tuesday Wayne County Treasurer Raymond J. Wojtowicz extended the deadline.  

"I have heard from distressed taxpayers who hadn't heard of these new programs, consulted with community groups and other government officials, and determined we need a few more weeks to reach those who are still facing foreclosure," he said. "We will work with taxpayers until June 8 when we will have to stop taking applications as we are required by law to make available to government the ability to take properties that have been foreclosed."  

When informed of the new extension Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan said, "I support the efforts of Treasurer Wojtowicz and call on anyone who faces foreclosure to work with his office.  This is vital to the stabilization and rebirth of our neighborhoods."

This year the Treasurer commenced foreclosure proceedings on 75,000 properties throughout Wayne County.  These represent properties where the taxes had not been paid for 2012 or prior years. 

 Since then, 40,000 of those properties have been either permanently or temporarily saved from foreclosure due to having the taxes paid or having the owners enter into payment agreements.  Nearly 20,000 have paid the taxes due and 24,000 are on various payment plan options with the Treasurer. 

Of the 30,000 properties still facing foreclosure, it is believed 11,761 are vacant lots and 8,742 are unoccupied structures leaving 10,379 occupied structures facing foreclosure. 

 Of these, 4,402 are likely owner occupied residences who are aggressively being reached.  The Treasurer began foreclosure on 22,325 owner occupied properties. 

"Working with my staff, community groups, government officials, and the faith based community we have been very successful in reaching 18,000 home owners and assisting them in foreclosure avoidance," said Wojtowicz. "However the job is not finished.  I really don't want to take anyone's property but need owner occupants to come into our offices to see if we can help them avoid foreclosure." 

 "We continue to offer payment agreements and hope people will access the Step Forward program to help pay their taxes," said Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski.   "We can't declare, 'Mission Accomplished' until we reach every home owner."

Payment plans for those who own and occupy their homes require a 10% down payment with monthly payments of 3%.  Step Forward is a program that can provide federal funds to pay a home owner's delinquent taxes.  To learn more, contact the Treasurer's Office at 313.224-5990, email them at taxinfo@waynecounty.com, or visit their offices at 400 Monroe in Detroit.