Wayne County Treasurer Eric R. Sabree on Thursday urged residents who owe property taxes for 2019 or prior years to get into payment plans by March 14 or pay their property tax bills in full by March 31. Otherwise they risk having the property go into foreclosure.
This will mark the first year that occupied properties will have been foreclosed upon since the start of the COVID pandemic. In both 2020 and 2021, Treasurer Sabree successfully petitioned the 3rd Circuit Court to halt the foreclosure of occupied properties, because of hardships caused by the pandemic.
"While my office remains committed to doing everything it can to keep people in their homes - through payment arrangements, for example - we also have to comply with the law," Sabree explained. "It is very important that individuals who owe back property taxes for the year 2019 or prior either pay the tax bill in full or work with our office to make payment arrangements."
Treasurer Sabree also hopes that a new program, the Michigan Homeowner Assistance Fund (MIHAF), will help save many owner-occupied Wayne County homes from foreclosure. Launched this week by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the program provides $242 million in American Rescue Fund dollars to help Michiganders pay back taxes and for other needs. Homeowner applicants for the MIHAF program can qualify for an extension to redeem their properties through March 2023.
To qualify for MIHAF, applicants must have experienced a qualified financial hardship due to the coronavirus pandemic after January 21, 2020, or had a qualified hardship that began before January 21, 2020, and continued after that date. They also need to meet income eligibility requirements, and the property must be owner-occupied. The maximum amount of assistance available through MIHAF per household is $25,000. If you apply for the MIHAF funds, please forward a copy of your verification via email with your name, property address and parcel identification number and your MIHAF confirmation number to: MIHAF.WCTO@waynecounty.com.
The Wayne County Treasurer's Office has several options to help residents stay in their homes, including financial hardship extensions, the Pay As You Stay program and other payment plans.
For more information, go to treasurer.waynecounty.com or contact the office by email at email@example.com. To apply for MIHAF, call 211 or go to https://www.michigan.gov/mshda/Homeownership/mihaf-homeowner-assistance