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Record Tax Foreclosures Hit Eaton County
A record number of 49 Eaton County properties were tax foreclosed by the State of Michigan on April 1, the largest number of tax foreclosures in recent history. Tax foreclosures have increased steadily rising almost 450% since 2002. Property owners with taxes that are two years delinquent face foreclosure and their property is sold at auction by the State of Michigan.
“We are experiencing a tax foreclosure crisis,” said Eaton County Treasurer, Bob Robinson. “It’s a silent crisis that’s been affecting Eaton County and the rest of our state for almost a decade. I will be working in the months ahead to address this issue for Eaton County citizens, and finding ways to help people minimize and prevent future tax foreclosures. Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA) reports average foreclosures in Michigan result in $80,000 in expense. Successful prevention, however, only costs $3,000,” added Robinson.
As part of a countywide strategy to help homeowners at risk of losing their homes, The Eaton County Treasurer’s office, in conjunction with Housing Services of Eaton County (HSEC), and Olivet College is collaborating to raise awareness about home ownership and how to prevent mortgage and tax foreclosure. This unique collaboration makes MSHDA qualified counseling available for homeowners who are in danger of losing their homes to financial hardship or unemployment. Qualified homeowners will be given important foreclosure prevention information on a variety of assistance programs and be informed about strategies to prevent losing their homes. Long-term financial counseling is also available to those who qualify. The program includes rescue funds to get homeowners current on back taxes, mortgage payments, or both.
“While tax foreclosures remain a problem, I’m pleased to share that by working closely with the Foreclosure Services Division of the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, the Eaton County Department of Human Services, Housing Services of Eaton County, and Salvation Army we were able to prevent 15 properties from being foreclosed,” said Robinson. By MSHDA statistics this saves taxpayers over $1 million. A special thanks to my staff at the treasurer’s office who worked many hard hours to make this happen.”