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Tax foreclosures hit record high; Jackson County

hvactec

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8/14/2011 226
The house looks nice enough.

It sits on a large corner lot with a well-tended yard and a screened-in porch.

It’s quiet except for the creaking front door that swings open, evidence of the hasty departure of its former inhabitants.

The home is one of 107 properties in the city that was foreclosed on in March for unpaid taxes that dated back to 2008.

Scattered on the floor inside are remnants of family life — piles of toys and clothes, half-empty boxes of pasta and a crumpled photograph of a man holding a young girl.

It’s a familiar scene for Jackson County Treasurer Karen Coffman, who was visiting tax-foreclosed properties on a mid-April afternoon to review their condition and talk to any lingering residents.

And it’s one that’s becoming more common.

This year, 226 properties were foreclosed on countywide for unpaid taxes — the highest in the county’s history.

“Every house has a story,” Coffman said. “You never know what happened. You just guess.”

A growing problem

While mortgage foreclosures are still a primary culprit in property loss, comprising the majority of overall foreclosures, tax foreclosure is on the rise.

The rate of tax foreclosure has increased exponentially in Jackson County, where 43 properties were foreclosed on for unpaid taxes five years ago. Last year, 152 properties were foreclosed on.

The number of homes or other buildings that have slipped into foreclosure is also rising. There were 109 tax foreclosed buildings this year and 97 in 2010.

“It’s huge,” Coffman said. “We’ve never seen numbers like that.”

Problems surrounding tax foreclosure aren’t isolated to Jackson.

“It’s on everybody’s radar screen,” said Neeta Delaney, co-director of the Michigan Foreclosure Task Force. “We hear repeatedly that tax foreclosures throughout the state are doubling.”

The task force has traditionally focused its work on combating mortgage foreclosures, but could expand that to include tax foreclosure, which appears to be growing at a faster rate, she said. Continued economic struggles, particularly unemployment or underemployment, are the main sources of the problem, Delaney said.

Read more http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/08/tax_foreclosures_hit_record_hi_1.html
 
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waltky

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It's a race against time...
:eusa_eh:
Homeowners facing foreclosure race to get help from mortgage assistance program
(Sept. 15,`11) Banks have stepped up their actions against homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments, setting the stage for a fresh wave of foreclosures.
Thousands of Washington area homeowners facing foreclosure have deluged state housing agencies with last-minute appeals for help from a $1 billion federal mortgage assistance program set to expire at the end of the month. In Maryland, where homeowners must apply for assistance by Friday, figuring out who qualifies for help has become an urgent, all-consuming enterprise. The state’s housing agency has hired temps, conscripted division heads to do data entry, and asked employees to stay late and work weekends to attack piles of paperwork that have grown exponentially as the deadline loomed.

About 4,000 Marylanders struggling to hold on to their homes have applied, including hundreds who turned out for a mortgage-assistance workshop in Prince George’s County, which has one of the highest foreclosure rates in the state. An additional 10,000 sought help in Virginia, where the deadline to apply for the program passed Thursday and eligibility is being determined by the federal government rather than the state. District homeowners participate in a separate program that does not have an immediate deadline.

Many of those seeking help from the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, as it is known in Maryland, will not qualify because they do not meet its long list of requirements. Their frantic scramble comes amid signs that the number of foreclosures, which had slowed dramatically after problems surfaced with how lenders were processing the paperwork, could begin rising again. The number of U.S. homes with an initial default notice, the first step in the foreclosure process, rose 33 percent in August from July, foreclosure listing firm Realty*Trac said.

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Avorysuds

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But TM said the economy was just hours from taking off... Guess the Republicans screwed us again.
 

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