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New Michigan program helps some facing tax foreclosure stay in homes

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(Gregg Canes/CNN)

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Some Michigan homeowners struggling with property taxes can sign up for affordable payment plans to help them stay in their houses under new legislation.

The “Pay as You Stay” bill was signed Monday by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.

It implements a program that allows foreclosing governmental units to reduce delinquent property taxes owed by homeowners who qualify for poverty exemptions.

Once enrolled, all interest, penalties and fees would be eliminated. The balance due would be limited to back taxes only or 10% of a home’s taxable value, whichever is less. The remaining balance would be paid back over three years at no interest.

Homeowners who qualify for full or partial property tax exemptions and enroll in future years would be eligible for the program. One-person households can’t earn more than $19,303 and households with four people can’t earn more than $28,671 per year to be eligible for property tax exemptions.

The bill was sponsored by Detroit Democrat Rep. Wendell Byrd.