Foreclosure Limbo Especially Tough on Renters

Jake Neher/WDET

Sarah Alvarez

Wayne County has finalized its list of properties headed for tax foreclosure this year, opening a season of uncertainty and potential loss for thousands of homeowners.

If your property is on this list or if you are a renter whose landlord is behind on taxes, life could be a real scramble between now and September, when the county auctions off tax-delinquent properties.

Renters have no way to plan for what’s coming next — whether they may be able to buy the houses they occupy, how to navigate utility shutoff, and even whether to keep paying rent every month to a landlord who is scheduled to lose the property.

Sarah Alvarez, founder and executive editor of Outlier Media, reports that 9,365 Detroit properties are on the foreclosure list this year — a number that can only get smaller between now and when the list is finalized in July. That number is higher than last year, but significantly lower than when the list hit its peak in 2015 when around 25,000 properties that were on the list.

2,158 Detroit properties were foreclosed on last year for less than $1000 in tax debt and 58 Detroit properties were foreclosed on for less than $100 dollars in tax debt. 

Alvarez joins Detroit Today with Stephen Henderson to talk about these issues along with Michele Oberholtzer, director of United Community Housing Coalition’s tax foreclosure prevention project.

Click on the audio player above to hear that conversation.

Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

About the Author

Detroit Today

Dynamic and diverse voices. News, politics, community and the issues that define our region. Hosted by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Stephen Henderson, Detroit Today brings you fresh and perceptive views weekdays at 9 am and 7 pm.

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