Hi Abbey, and welcome to Why Don't We Own This! I'm Alex from the LOVELAND team.
What you're looking at on the "2013 Foreclosure Risk" map are all the properties in Wayne County that are at risk of winding up in the annual tax foreclosure auction administered by the Wayne County Treasurer's Office.
When a property doesn't pay property taxes for three years, the county treasurer is required by law to foreclose on the property and auction it off in an attempt to make up the back taxes. This takes place in an online auction managed by Bid4Assets every September & October. The auction is split up into two rounds:
In the 1st round, bidding on foreclosed properties opens at the total amount of back taxes (in the case of the house you're looking at, that would be $6,139).
In the 2nd round, all back taxes are wiped out, and the opening bid for ALL properties is $500.
Each of the last two years, about 20,000 properties across Wayne County have wound up in the foreclosure auction. About 700 sold in the 1st round, 10,000 sold in the second round, and around 8 - 9,000 go unsold.
Keep an eye on Why Don't We Own This to get more information as the auction approaches.
In the instance of the house you're asking about -- 110 Atkinson -- the property has been "Conditionally Witheld" from the foreclosure auction. This likely means that the occupant reached an agreement with the Wayne County Treasurer's Office to pay their back taxes off a little bit at a time. As long as they pay off a certain amount by the time the auction rolls around, their house will not be foreclosed on, and auctioned off.
Hope this helps! Any further questions, just shout.
Hi Candice, This is Alex from the Loveland team. Our information comes from a variety of sources: For example, ownership information comes via the Detroit city assessor; foreclosure data comes via the office of the Wayne County Treasurer.
If you are looking at the "2013 Foreclosure Risk" data layer, that information all comes from the Wayne County Treasurer -- it is accurate as of about two weeks ago.
It's important to understand two things about the 2013 Foreclosure data:
1.) All properties that appear as "Foreclosed" on the 2013 Foreclosure Risk map were foreclosed on April 1st, 2013, and are now owned by the Wayne County Treasury.
2.) All foreclosed properties can still be redeemed, and prevented from moving to the foreclosure auction, right up until the first round of the auction begins in September.
If we can help further, just let us know.
I'm with you on them stopping paying rent. The owner is now the Wayne County Treasurer, not whoever they've been paying.
I'm not sure what the rules are concerning under what conditions a landlord can say 'get the hell outta my building,' but I imagine the only risk in not paying rent would be the landlord gets the building off the foreclosure list and decides to kick his tenants out. Even if there are rules against that kind of thing, well, you know, there are rules, and then there's what you can get away with in Detroit, which tend to be two very different quantities.
Roger, not through any official channels that I know of (i.e. going to the Treasurer's office and making an offer). What you might be able to do is reach an agreement with the foreclosed owner to put the property on a payment plan, make a payment, and purchase the property once it's redeemed from foreclosure. But that could be complicated and require some lawyerly assistance.
Hey Erica! Alex from team LOVELAND here. What can we do to help you get started?
I spent yesterday afternoon at the American Serbian Memorial Hall, for Black Family Development Inc's community luncheon. Got to speak to about 200 people about Why Don't We Own This? and foreclosure prevention resources.
The more events like these we see, the clearer it is that information on Detroit property is needed, wanted, and can make a huge difference when it's easy to access and understand.
Talked to one area resident at the end of the event who commented that the number we have on Why Don't We Own This? showing the total amount of unpaid property taxes in the city ($450 million) is "fictitious." Told him I couldn't agree more -- a huge chunk of that money is gone and not coming back. People who owned some of that property have moved on, and the properties will never recoup expenses at auction.
But there are simple steps we can take to get information into the hands of neighborhood organizations, block clubs, and other entities across the city that will help keep people in their houses, and even return some taxes to the city.
Best way to check is lookup online at Register of Deeds. Costs $5, but it'll answer your question :-)
Would like to note the epic limo Google Maps happened to capture in front of this house. NICE
I first started looking at Detroit in March of 2009. A few friends and I were contemplating moving out here. Just went back and looked at a few of those e-mails and realized that 2522 Chicago Blvd was the house we had our eye on. Looks like it's ready for demolition now, and eligible for foreclosure.
I know I hit you back on this on e-mail, Sandra, but just repeating here so all can read. You can toggle between street map and satellite view using the icon in the upper right of the map that looks like three pieces of paper. You can also quickly turn on and off the parcel shapes, should you want to see what's underneath them.
Google Maps and Bing already show imagery, so it's not like you'd be doing anything that isn't already accessible online. But that doesn't speak to the basic question of whether or not it's right, wrong, or just kinda creepy to post photos of other people's property online (though a lot of us do it all the time -- whenever someone else's house, business, or property winds up in the background, or as the subject, of an Instagram photo or something).
To me, as long as you're intentions are good and respectful, and you're photographing stuff to show change over time or to present useful information to the WDWOT and Detroit community, it's fine to photograph property and post it publicly.
And WDWOT does have a moderation policy -- if people are taking photos or making comments that we don't think are appropriate, we won't allow them to be posted on the site.
Then again, there's also this guy :-)
Hey Sandra! It'll be public by default. If you are a Member then you can click the "Make this comment private" checkbox underneath the comment field, and the photo, and anything you write, will be private. - Alex
You can also connect with foreclosure prevention resources via the property pages on the Tax Distress Map.
If you, a friend, or a neighbor are at risk of foreclosure, remember that there a number of resources and options available to you -- and that the sooner you act, the better.
Show Cause hearings -- an opportunity to show why a home should not be foreclosed on -- started today. They continue...
Any person with an interest in the property
may appear in person or through an agent to
show cause why title to the forfeited property
should not vest absolutely in the Wayne
City of Detroit
Wards 1-11—Jan. 30, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Wards 12-15—Jan. 30, 2013 at 1:30 p.m.
Wards 16-17—Jan. 31, 2013 at 9:00 a.m.
Wards 18-21 — Jan. 31, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. even addresses; Feb. 1, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. odd addresses
Ward 22 — Feb. 1, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Street names beginning A-G Feb. 4, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. Street names
beginning H-Q Feb. 4, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. Street names
Wayne County outside Detroit — Feb. 5, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. parcels beginning 30-49; Feb. 5, 2013 at 1:30 p.m. parcels
If anyone were to lease that property, you'd hope they did their due diligence first since it's headed to foreclosure if no one pays the taxes. And the sale price is really $14,000 when you add in what's owed in back taxes.
So, this is one of the 43,000 properties eligible for foreclosure and inclusion in the 2013 tax foreclosure auctions. The owner has until March, 31st to get on a payment plan, or pay their taxes. If that doesn't happen, the property will be foreclosed and ownership will transfer into the hands of the Wayne County Treasurer's Office.
The foreclosed-upon owner will still have an opportunity however, up until the start of the auction, to recover the property. If nothing happens and the auction begins, the property will go on the block.
If you're interested in purchasing the property, you can wait and see what happens -- see if it winds up in the auction. You could also try reaching out to the current owner and see if they'd be interested in selling now, before foreclosure.
Remember that there are a number of reasons this property could be behind on its taxes. The owner could have fallen on hard times, they could be desperately trying to prevent its foreclosure, and want to retain ownership. At the same time, the owner might want to get rid of it. Let us know how it goes.
Not sure what what's up on this one, Joe. My best guess is that it's an issue with the parcel shape files that we got from the city. I'm not seeing any obvious explanation. If you can interpret this legalese from the title search (I can't :-P) maybe we can figure out if there's a discrepancy between that description and what's on the map. But hey, this is why WDWOT exists, in part -- to find these inaccuracies and get them straightened out. - Alex
W BRUSH E 38.40 FT ON N LINE BG E 34.76 FT ON S LINE OF S 77.62 FT ON E LINE BG S 77.50 FT ON W LINE 24 BLK 11-BRUSHS SUB L8 P12 PLATS, W C R 1/49 77.62 IRREG
Hey Eric, It looks like we've got the Foreclosure warning on this property incorrectly. It's owned by City P&DD, so it's not eligible for foreclosure. Does seem to be coming up as late on its taxes though. Could be a way to buy it through City P&DD though -- that should be the idea at least!
Your Pet Block is like this, Dennis
Hey Jon, Your Pet Block doesn't have as many tax issues as many a Pet Block in Detroit. The missing shapes just mean those properties don't have tax issues. Go up to "Data Layers" and turn on the "Ownership" layer to see all the properties your Pet Block contains.
Hi Jacquie, Sorry to hear you're having trouble tracking down your deed. What's the situation exactly? Did the Treasurer's office not deliver your deed to UHC?
Good question -- it's one with an ever-changing answer, unfortunately.
Unsold properties from the 2011 auction went to the Michigan Land Bank. These properties can hypothetically be purchased from the Land Bank, but I'm unsure of how easy it is: http://www.michigan.gov/landbank/0,3190,7-298-52513---,00.html
Unsold properties from the 2012 auction are still in a limbo state -- it's unclear if they will wind up in the City of Detroit's hands, the Detroit land bank, or the Michigan Land Bank. Stay Tuned...
As for all government owned property in the city, WDWOT offers this collection, though I'm not sure if it's entirely up to date:
You can buy your house back in the auction, or you can buy it back from someone else who bought. Both are legal, and not a problem.
Cassandra, I'll repeat what Wayne County deputy treasurer David Szymanski said at an event we had the other night, "Until a judge tells you you have to leave the home, you don’t have to leave the home." Not sure if that Notice to Quit meets that requirement or not, but wanted to let you know.
detroitbuyers, Hey, it looks like you got quite a haul of properties in the auction, assuming you are the same person as the bid4assets "detroitbuyers" who has 290 properties.
I'd be curious to learn more about your experience dealing with the auction. I work with the WDWOT team -- drop a line at firstname.lastname@example.org if you'd like to chat. Would be very interested to talk with you.
Not only is Wayne County advertising the auction heavily (with taxpayer money), they are also advertising that they are advertising: http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=2012310190149
Bid4Assets is a for-profit company that has a vested interest in seeing the houses in their auctions sold -- that's how they get and keep clients.
It is generous of you to suggest that Jerry can do more to promote the auction with a tambourine than Bid4Assets and Wayne County combined with the resources at their disposal, but I'm afraid it's not the case.
I'm part of the WDWOT team and wanted to address your concerns.
I think the problem you identify has less to do with Why Don't We Own This? than it does with the fact that Detroit / Wayne County deals with a massive inventory of tax foreclosed property through an auction.
Whether it's an auction conducted in person, where participation depends on your availability of time and money in order to buy (which seems to heavily favor wealthy speculators, to me), or an auction online that is open to the world, given transparency through WDWOT or not, the fact is that 20,000 houses are still at risk of being purchased by irresponsible investors for very little money.
One of the uses I encourage for WDWOT is to continue following property after the auction via the site. The utility of this tool depends on its continued use once the auction ends. If you see speculators in your neighborhood who allow houses to languish, use WDWOT to keep a light on their activity. Let those who would buy property and disregard a neighborhood or the plight of those around them know that their activities are not being ignored. WDWOT provides a platform for that kind of accountability.