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Owners could lose 10,000 properties Wayne County looking for overdue tax payments today. BY ZACHARY GORCHOW FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060331/NEWS05/603310351. Delinquent 2003 Property Taxes.

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Owners could lose 10 000 properties wayne county looking for overdue tax payments today l.jpg

Owners could lose 10,000 propertiesWayne County looking for overdue tax payments today

BY ZACHARY GORCHOW

FREE PRESS STAFF WRITER

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060331/NEWS05/603310351


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Delinquent 2003 Property Taxes

  • William Coon was one of many Wayne County residents Thursday who packed the county treasurer's office trying to meet today's deadline for paying delinquent 2003 property taxes to avert foreclosure.

  • If more don't pay, the county could own a record number of properties.

  • Like it or not, by law county treasurers across the state take ownership of any property in their jurisdiction if the owner hasn't paid 2003 property taxes before the close of business today.

  • And in Wayne County, the number of potential foreclosures is more than double what it was at last year's deadline for 2002 bills.


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Where Foreclosure Risk Occurs

  • As of Wednesday morning, the most recent count available, 10,284 properties in the county had delinquent 2003 taxes, including 2,237 occupied residences. The properties are spread though each of the county's 43 municipalities except Northville Township.

  • The Wayne County numbers dwarf the potential foreclosures in Macomb and Oakland counties. As of Thursday, 36 Macomb and 509 Oakland property owners hadn't paid their 2003 taxes.


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Why the Sharp Rise?

  • There are many reasons for the sharp rise in properties with unpaid taxes in Wayne County, said Terrance Keith, chief deputy treasurer.

  • A big one is that the 2003 tax year was the first when delinquent taxes in Detroit were forwarded to the county for collection.

  • Of the over 10,000 Wayne County properties at risk for foreclosure, 9,185 are in Detroit.

  • There's also the economic climate in the county. Its unemployment rate in February was 8.1%, worse than neighboring Oakland's 5.6% and Macomb's 6.8%.

  • Plus, the number of abandoned properties in Detroit rose in 2003.


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Where?

  • The number of potential foreclosures in Macomb County is about the same as in 2005, but the number is up by more than 100 in Oakland, Chief Deputy Treasurer Keith Sawdon said.

  • Real estate agents are increasingly coming across homes in foreclosure, for tax or mortgage reasons. Chris Cotzias, broker and owner of RE/MAX in the Pointes, said about 60 of the 630 homes for sale in the Grosse Pointes are in foreclosure.


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What next?

  • Keith said Wayne County officials are bracing for a crush of taxpayers at the treasurer's office today. There are plans for an overflow room and promises to serve anyone in line before the office's usual 4:30 closing time.

  • For owners of occupied properties who don't pay, the treasurer's office will send an official to give them one last chance, Keith said.

  • "Money is tight, and no one enjoys paying taxes a moment before they have to," Keith said, saying some could be waiting for payday today to submit taxes. "We don't want to own it. We want the taxes paid."


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