Coalition urges Wayne Co. to continue tax foreclosure ban

A coalition of community activists is calling on the Wayne County treasurer to pursue a continued ban of “inhumane” countywide property tax foreclosures in 2021 and beyond amid financial hardships spurred by COVID-19.

The Coalition for Property Tax Justice joined Wednesday with the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan for a press conference urging Treasurer Eric Sabree to ask for a court-issued halt in foreclosures of owner-occupied homes in Detroit for the years to come until over assessments that caused financial hardships in the city are fixed.

“We’re asking him to go to the courts and to let the courts decide,” said Bernadette Atuahene, a law professor and coalition organizer. “The proper place for this decision is in the courts and not the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office.”

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Bernadette Atuahene (Photo: David Guralnick, The Detroit News)

Atuahene argued the treasurer’s office has profited under the Michigan Tax Act from

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Wayne County treasurer should extend foreclosure ban, advocates say

Christine MacDonald, Detroit Free Press
Published 7:33 p.m. ET Oct. 21, 2020 | Updated 7:46 p.m. ET Oct. 21, 2020


Wayne County Treasurer Eric Sabree should extend the current moratorium on county property foreclosures through 2021, civil rights advocates said Wednesday.

The Coalition for Property Tax Justice said the pause in foreclosures should continue through the end of next year because of the economic stress on homeowners caused by the novel coronavirus pandemic and overassessed properties in the county’s largest city, Detroit. 

Eric Sabree, Wayne County Treasurer. (Photo: Wayne County Treasurer’s office, Wayne County Treasurer’s office,)

The Coalition for Property Tax Justice held a virtual news  conference Wednesday, urging Sabree to go back to the Wayne County Circuit Court to get additional permission to halt all foreclosures through next year. He had received the court’s permission in mid-March to stop the process through 2020.

Sabree wanted the court order

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New York Commercial Eviction, Foreclosure Ban Extended

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty, iStock)

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (Getty, iStock)

Landlords looking to boot non-paying commercial tenants will have to wait until the new year.

New York’s moratorium on commercial evictions and foreclosures due to non-payment of rent will be in place through Jan. 1, 2021, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced in a press conference Tuesday.

The governor can only extend the ban for 30-day periods — meaning the latest order will need to be renewed again on Nov. 19. A spokesperson for the governor’s office said the ban would remain in place.

Cuomo said the commercial eviction and foreclosure moratorium would align with the rules governing residential evictions, although the legislation limiting some residential evictions is not a blanket moratorium — it allows tenants to raise a defense in non-payment cases, and allows landlords to seek a money judgments instead of eviction if the tenant is eligible. As of last week in Rochester, 27 eviction

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Massachusetts ban on pandemic evictions, foreclosures ending

BOSTON (AP) — The state’s ban on evictions and foreclosures imposed during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic expires on Saturday, leaving many worrying about their housing security.


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Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker this week unveiled a $171 million initiative he said will help tenants and landlords cope. Baker said the goal is to keep tenants in their homes and also ease the ongoing expenses of landlords.

The bulk of the spending — about $100 million — will go to expand the capacity of the Residential Assistance for Families in Transition program to provide relief to renters and landlords struggling because of the pandemic.

Housing advocates said Baker’s plan doesn’t go far enough. They’re pressing the Republican governor and state lawmakers to back a more comprehensive eviction prevention measure.

The bill would ensure tenants cannot be evicted because of missed rent if nonpayment was because of COVID-19. It

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Landlords warn eviction ban bill would lead to foreclosures, slums

A bill that would halt evictions and freeze rents for a year after Gov. Charlie Baker lifts the coronavirus state of emergency has cleared its first major hurdle but faces staunch opposition from landlords who say it would lead to foreclosures, slums and worse.

“The further people get behind in their rent, the less likely they will ever be able to pay it. If we don’t deal with this problem and we wait another year, there’s a lot of money that will never get paid,” said Greg Vasil, CEO and president of the Greater Boston Real Estate Board. “It’s the property owners who lose. We’ll see foreclosures and properties will start to fall into disrepair.”

The eviction protection bill cleared the Joint Committee on Housing in a 14-3 party-line vote on Thursday. Proponents say the bill aims to keep tenants in their home after losing jobs due to the pandemic.

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