Program would help thousands of Detroit, Wayne County residents avoid foreclosure

DETROIT - Officials from Detroit and Wayne County unveiled a proposed program that would help thousands of residents avoid foreclosure.

Wayne County Executive Warren C. Evans, Mayor Mike Duggan and Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree called on the state legislature to implement a sweeping new approach to assist tens of thousands of Detroiters and Wayne County residents who owe back property taxes avoid foreclosure.

Draft legislation for the “Pay as You Stay” (PAYS) plan, expected to be introduced this week by Rep. Wendell Byrd (D-Detroit), would help approximately 31,000 Detroit homeowners stay in their homes by dramatically reducing the amount they owe on their back taxes and lowering their monthly payments, according to the city.

How the program works:

  1. Once you enroll, all interest, penalties and fees would be eliminated.
  2. To reduce an undue burden on homeowners, the balance due would be limited to back taxes only or 10% of a home’s taxable value – whichever is less.
  3. The remaining balance would be paid back over three years at zero percent interest.

 Homeowners who qualify for a full or partial Property Tax Exemption and enroll in future years would be eligible for the program. To be PTE-eligible, a household with 1 person could not make more than $19,303 per year; a household with 4 people could not make more than $28,671.

“Since 2015, we’ve been able to reduce the number of occupied foreclosures by 94 percent, but far too many Detroiters still are at risk of foreclosure,” said Mayor Mike Duggan. “Pay as You Stay” would help more than 31,000 Detroit homeowners stay in their homes by eliminating interest, penalties and fees and making payment plans affordable for those who need them.”

The “Pay as You Stay” plan would be administered by the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office, and open for enrollment for three years after the program launches.

The State Legislature will need to act to approve the “Pay as You Stay” plan.  

"This proposal is one of many steps being taken in the right direction to help residents be able to afford to stay in their homes," said Rep. Byrd.  "It's important that we can retain every resident so we can strengthen our neighborhoods and rebuild our city's population."

Since 2015, the number of occupied foreclosures in Detroit has dropped by 94 percent, going from 9,111 occupied home foreclosures in 2015 to 514 this year, according to the city. The drop is attributed to various programs and community organizations working to keep families in their homes.

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