foreclosure

Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

This “week in review” Michigan Radio’s Weekend Edition host Rina Miller and political analyst Jack Lessenberry discuss: Governor Rick Snyder’s State of the State speech, the possibility of no fault absentee voting, a positive report on Michigan’s housing market, and a possible tax amnesty program for Detroit.

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

Governor Snyder addresses roads, schools and partisan divisions in State of the State

"In his State of the State speech last night, Governor Rick Snyder asked lawmakers to fix roads, schools, and partisan divisions. Snyder wants them to find a way to increase spending on roads and transportation by more than a billion dollars a year. He says bad roads are a financial burden on drivers and the state alike," the Michigan Public Radio Network reports.

Michigan foreclosure rate plummets

"A new report suggests Michigan is becoming more of a home seller’s market. Home sale prices plunged in Michigan during the recession. But Realty Trac reports in 20-12 home sellers were getting about 94 percent of their initial home sale price listings," Steve Carmody reports.

Michigan set 160 weather records in 2012

One hundred and sixty extreme weather records were set in Michigan in 2012. That's according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. As the Detroit News reports,

"The Detroit News reports, "Last year's statewide weather broke records across the spectrum including, 139 heat records in 44 counties, 18 rainfall records in 14 counties and three snow records in three counties. Michigan's weather seems to be paralleling the national trend of record-breaking heat, rain and snow."

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

No citizenship box on ballot

"Secretary of State Ruth Johnson says there will be no citizenship box for voters to check on ballot applications this November. Johnson says the election is getting close, so she won’t challenge a federal judge’s ruling that the citizenship question is unconstitutional. But she says there could be further legal action after the election. Johnson says she also intends to press the federal government for naturalization records to help clear voter rolls of non-citizens. She ordered the check box even after Governor Rick Snyder vetoed a bill to require it. No one could be denied a ballot for refusing to check the box, but Johnson says it's useful to remind people that only U.S. citizens can vote," Rick Pluta reports.

DHS says foster care is getting better in Michigan

"Child welfare officials say Michigan’s foster care system is getting better. Steve Yager is the director of Children’s Services for the state Department of Human Services. He told a legislative committee the state is doing a much better job of recruiting and keeping foster parents. Yager also says child welfare workers have more manageable caseloads. The state has been working to overhaul its child welfare system since 2008, after the group Children’s Rights sued the state over problems in the system," Steve Carmody reports.

Michigan foreclosure rate at a five year low

"Michigan’s home foreclosure rate could soon reach a milestone. A few years ago the state's foreclosure rate was near the top of the 50 state list. But Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says the latest data shows Michigan is poised to drop out of the top 10 possibly by the end of the year. He says Michigan’s home foreclosure rate is near a five year low," Steve Carmody reports.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate could soon reach a milestone.

A few years ago the state's foreclosure rate was near the top of the fifty state list.

But Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says the latest data shows Michigan is poised to drop out of the top ten, possibly by the end of the year.

"It’s still in that top ten…but it’s moving down," says Bloomquist,  "(Michigan) had often been showing up in the top five over the last few years….now it’s moved down to number nine in September.”

User: Brother O'Mara / flickr

148,000 Michiganders getting settlement letters

Michigan residents who lost their homes to foreclosure between 2008-2011 will be sent claims forms as part of a $25 billion national settlement of complaints about improper conduct by lenders. Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says about 148,000  are being sent claims forms. "Schuette said Tuesday that those eligible to share in the settlement lost their homes to foreclosure in 2008-2011. He says his office continues to look at possible criminal actions involving what are called "robo-signing" practices in foreclosures. Robo-signing involves people signing documents without proper review. Eligible borrowers had mortgages serviced by Ally/GMAC, Bank of America, Citi, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo. The companies agreed to the settlement with the federal government and attorneys general for 49 states and the District of Columbia," the AP reports.

House bill would make it easier and cheaper to get public records

"The chairman of a state House committee says it’s too easy for government agencies to delay and sidestep requests for public records. The state House Oversight, Reform, and Ethics Committee opened hearings yesterday on measures to make it easier and cheaper for people to get public records. One bill would limit how much government agencies could charge for providing copies of records. Another would create a state commission to hear citizen complaints about compliance with Michigan’s Freedom of Information Act," Jake Neher reports.

30,000 kids missing from preschool

"Because of uneven or inadequate state funding, around 30,000 4-year-olds eligible for public preschool in Michigan are not enrolled. That's according to a new report by Bridge Magazine. More than half the kids in the state are eligible for public preschool because they are from low or moderate income families. But, some districts don't have enough money to meet demand. State officials admit money for the program is uneven and inadequate. Momentum for more early childhood education funding appears to be growing among legislators. The Snyder administration has also said it's a priority," Sarah Alvarez reports.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate continues to trend lower, but a spike in foreclosure filings may be coming this month.

August marked 22  straight months that Michigan’s year over year foreclosure numbers declined.

In fact, the number of foreclosure filings in Michigan in August fell 41 percent compared to August a year ago.   Also, none of the 20 U.S. cities with the highest home foreclosure rates are located in Michigan.

But Daren Bloomquist with Realty Trac says there are signs that the trend may soon end.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There may be some good economic news in a place that's usually just about bad news: county tax foreclosure auctions.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

A Detroit-based group of activists is working through the summer to help people facing foreclosure stay in their homes.

The Detroit Eviction Defense Coalition is affiliated with the Occupy Detroit movement. They held a rally Monday at the McNamara federal building to support Detroit homeowner Jennifer Britt, who faces eviction after a lengthy legal battle.

Mies van der Rohe Residential District
user Mikerussell / Wikimedia Commons

The Detroit landmark Lafayette Towers has fallen into foreclosure and is set to be auctioned by federal authorities in two weeks.

The Detroit News says financial details were not immediately available in the notice posted by the U.S. Dept. of Housing and Urban Development.

Successful bidders on the luxury high-rise will need to post more than $2.5 million in escrow for an estimated $10 million in repairs required to be completed in 18 months.

The apartment towers were constructed in the 1960s. The two 22-story, river-view buildings contain 584 units located on nearly 10 acres in the Mies van der Rohe Residential District.

The auction is set for 10 a.m. July 18 in the first floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s home foreclosure rate continues to fall dramatically.

Realty Trac reports today foreclosure filings in Michigan fell another 6% last month and are down more than 40% compared to a year ago.

“We’re getting close to now 2 years of a long-term downward trend in Michigan foreclosure activity,” says Daren Bloomquist, who is a Realty Trac vice president.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Most Michigan cities saw their home foreclosure rates tumble during the first quarter of the year. One analyst says that might signal a trend for the rest of 2012. 

Home foreclosure filings dropped between 20% and 30% in Detroit, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids during the first three months of the year. That's compared to the first quarter of 2011, according to Realty Trac. 

Lansing was the only Michigan city on Realty Trac’s list to see an increase in home foreclosure filings between January and March. Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac.

He says Lansing’s foreclosure rate increase was tied to a big increase in final bank repossessions. "It seems like it’s more of a clearing out of the foreclosure pipeline rather than a lot a new foreclosures coming online and starting the process," says Bloomquist. 

Bloomquist expects other Michigan housing markets will see spikes in foreclosure filings as the year goes on, but he predicts the general trend will be fewer foreclosures in Michigan.

Although Michigan’s foreclosure activity declined in the first quarter of 2012, Michigan still has the 7th highest foreclosure rate in the country.

Democratic Congressman Hansen Clarke represents Michigan’s 13th district. This week he's in Washington D. C. and hopes to introduce a bill that would suspend home foreclosures nationally for up to three years.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

Michiganders hard hit by the foreclosure crisis might get some help thanks to a national settlement approved this week by a federal judge.     But that help won’t be coming immediately.

The $26 billion settlement involves 49 states, the District of Columbia and five of the largest mortgage lenders in the United States:  Bank of America, Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase, Citibank and Ally Financial. 

Sarah Hulett / Michigan Radio

Oakland County Treasurer Andrew Meisner filed a lawsuit against federally backed mortgage companies Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac last year.

He claimed they were dodging taxes.

And he won.

The result could mean millions of dollars in revenue - provided the case wins an expected appeal from the mortgage companies.

It's an appeal that's expected since other counties and states around the country are watching this case, and would love to line up and take their share of tax revenue from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

So what taxes are they dodging?

A group of anti-foreclosure activists says Chase bank continues to wrongly foreclose on people’s homes.

And as part of the “Occupy our Homes” movement, they plan to fight for eight Metro Detroit homeowners they say are victims.

Chase bank and other mortgage lenders signed a consent agreement with the federal government in the wake of the national foreclosure crisis.

(GothamGazette)

The Kalamazoo County Commission Tuesday will discuss taxing home owners to help others avoid homelessness.

A coalition of groups wants the commission to agree to let voters decide later this year on a proposal to add a one-tenth mil increase on their property tax bills.    The  added property tax would raise about $800 thousand  over four years.

The money would fund programs to prevent evictions, as well as provide vouchers for short-term and long-term housing.

Sarah Cwiek / Michigan Radio

The “Occupy our Homes” movement has taken up the cause of Fred Shrum, another homeowner facing foreclosure in Metro Detroit.

The group is a coalition of anti-foreclosure groups, organized labor, and other activists with the Detroit “Occupy” movement.

So far, their protests on behalf of people facing foreclosure have helped keep four Metro Detroit families in their homes—including one case where protesters blocked a dumpster that came to clear out the house.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 The state of Michigan is expected to reap a half billion dollars from a settlement between 40 states and five of the nation’s largest mortgage lenders.  

Michigan has been among the hardest hit states in the foreclosure crisis. The settlement will help homeowners who were in foreclosure between 2008 and 2011.

Bank of America, Ally Financial,  Wells Fargo, J.P. Morgan Chase and Citigroup are the banks in the settlement.   The deal will settle complaints the mortgage lenders wrongly foreclosed on borrowers and forged documents.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

 The prices home buyers are paying for repossessed homes are rising in Michigan.    One analyst says it might be a sign that the real estate market may finally have hit bottom.    

Formerly foreclosed homes have saturated the market in Michigan since the recession hit a few years ago.   The high percentage of foreclosed homes on the market has been blamed for real estate prices crashing to levels not seen in Michigan since the 1990’s.

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)

According to Realty Trac, the number of home foreclosures in Michigan last year dropped to the lowest level since 2007. The actual number of foreclosure filings dropped 26% compared to 2010.   

The decline is partly due to a slowdown in the paperwork process. The average time between the first foreclosure filing and final repossession of a home in Michigan took 283 days last year. That’s a 46% increase over the number of days it took in 2010.  

Daren Bloomquist is with Realty Trac. He says mortgage lenders will be speeding up the pace of home foreclosures this year.  

"We’re past the peak of the foreclosure crisis in Michigan… but the numbers in 2011 were artificially lower than they should have been," says Bloomquist.  

Michigan had the sixth highest home foreclosure rate in the nation last year with one in every 45 homes receiving a foreclosure notice.

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