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Groups press for tax foreclosure moratorium as Wayne Co. extend deadline

May 12, 2015

Several organizations want Wayne County to halt tax foreclosures for thousands of properties.
Credit Brendel / Wikimedia Commons

The American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan is one of several organizations calling on Wayne County to halt tax foreclosures for thousands of properties.

This comes the same day the Wayne County Treasurer's Office announced a second deadline extension for residents to avoid losing their homes.

In a press release, Wayne County Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz said the county determined it needed more time to make residents aware of programs to help them stay in their homes.

"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 have been foreclosed."

Michigan ACLU Legal Director Michael Steinberg said many Detroit residents are being asked to pay tax bills that don't accurately reflect the value of their property.

"Some houses that can't fetch more than $1,000 on the market have been taxed for years at more than $50,000," he said. "Until there are reassessments and readjustment of past bills, it's simply not fair [or] legal, to require property owners to pay the bills they're receiving right now."

Wayne County officials say more than 30,000 properties are still facing foreclosure. More than 10,000 are believed to be occupied.