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Heard on All Things Considered

Wayne County Suspends Foreclosures in 2020 Due to Coronavirus Concern

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Image credit: Jake Neher/WDET

Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree says low-wage workers shouldn’t have to worry about foreclosures during a pandemic, but recommends residents continue to pay off tax-debt to avoid financial issues next year.

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Wayne County is suspending foreclosures this year in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

The decision affects roughly 10,000 properties, including about 3,200 owner-occupied homes. The county’s housing auction has also been canceled. 

People are making some serious decisions on their finances and their lives.” — Eric Sabree, Wayne County Treasurer 

Treasurer Eric Sabree says the pandemic is affecting low-wage workers the most, so Wayne County needed to act swiftly to stop foreclosures this year.

People are making some serious decisions on their finances and their lives,” says Sabree. 

The suspension of foreclosures and auctions will slow the county’s cash flow this year, but residents will have to pay their tax debt later, unless an exemption is applied. Sabree says even though at-risk homeowners can avoid foreclosure this year, they should still pay off their tax debt.

People will still have to pay in order to keep their properties out of foreclosure next year,” says Sabree. “Because the interest is accruing on the balance, if they continue to pay they won’t be under so much hardship next year.”

Sabree says the Wayne County Treasurer’s office is closed for two weeks. He says the county is furloughing 80% of its workforce during that time.

Oakland County’s treasurer says no residents will lose their property to tax foreclosure due to the broad impact of the coronavirus.

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Eli Newman, Reporter/Producer

Eli Newman is a Reporter/Producer for 101.9 WDET, covering breaking news, politics and community affairs. His favorite Motown track is “It’s The Same Old Song” by the Four Tops.

eli.newman@wdet.org Follow @other_eli

This post is a part of Coronavirus in Michigan.

101.9 WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station, is committed to providing accurate, up-to-date information on coronavirus, and it's related illness COVID-19, in Michigan. 

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