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Wayne County, Michigan’s most populous county and home to the cities of Detroit and Dearborn, has extended its deadline for tax foreclosure relief for another three days.
The Detroit Free Press reports that the extension followed a strong turnout by homeowners seeking to work out an arrangement with the county government. The arrangement program was set to expire yesterday, which itself was an extension on an earlier deadline, but after Thursday the county government will begin compiling a list of the properties in tax foreclosure that will be sent to local communities.
"We send a list to the state, local community, and Wayne County of all properties being foreclosed and ask if they want to pay for them and take them,” said Wayne County Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski. “They respond by the third week of July and either decline or pay."
Szymanski added that last-minute respondents to the extension cannot be guaranteed immediate assistance.
"If they have delayed action this long there is no good reason to wait even longer," Szymanski said. "Those who have waited until today, the last day, can expect service delays due to the volume."
According to Szymanski’s office, there were 30,000 properties facing foreclosure–with 11,761 vacant lots, 8,742 unoccupied structures and 10,379 occupied structures. Within the occupied properties, about 4,400 were occupied by owners.
To date, the county government has resisted calls for a moratorium on foreclosures. A coalition of advocacy groups including the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan (ACLU) released a public letter last month that dubbed the proposed foreclosures “an unprecedented human rights catastrophe [that] will actually undermine the county's goal of increasing revenue through taxation.” The foreclosure opponents also questioned the legality of the action, stating they are “in large part [based on] excessive taxation on based on grossly inflated assessments.”