Owners of tax-foreclosed homes in Wayne County have until June 7 to prevent their properties from going to auction. That’s the deadline to either pay off back taxes or to get into a payment plan.
To help ensure owners and tenants of the homes slated for auction understand the deadline and their options, the non-profit United Community Housing Coalition (UCHC) is working to educate residents about foreclosure prevention programs.
“We believe that people don’t have the information they need to save their houses,” says Michele Oberholtzer, the coordinator of the tax foreclosure prevention project at UCHC. “And we believe that in many cases it’s a solvable problem. We want to make sure that they have every opportunity to save their house both for their own benefit but also for their neighborhoods and the city at large.”
With the clock ticking, UCHC is working to recruit volunteers to knock on 5,000 doors of foreclosed homes that are occupied in Detroit.
“We’re looking for people who care about housing, care about their community, but don’t exactly know how to get involved,” says Oberholtzer.
The group is hoping to recruit block clubs, community groups, churches, elected officials and concerned citizens. “Anybody who has a vested interest in supporting their neighborhood,” Oberholtzer says.
Volunteers will make sure occupants know that the house they are living in is currently foreclosed. They will also connect residents to financial counselors at UCHC who can walk them through their options. Homeowners may qualify for a low-interest tax payment plan called the Interest Reduction Stipulated Payment Agreement (IRSPA) that could take them out of foreclosure. Also, renters often have questions about how the foreclosure affects them.
Upcoming volunteer trainings are scheduled for 4 p.m., Friday, May 12; 1 p.m. Monday, May 15; and 10 a.m. Thursday May 25 at the UCHC office located at 2727 Second Ave., Suite 313, Detroit.
More information about Wayne County property taxes and foreclosure can be found on the county treasurer’s page here.
United Community Housing Coalition offers free counseling to income-eligible families year round.