Our friends at the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan started the Michigan Foreclosure Task Force in 2007 to address foreclosure problems in Michigan. The task force is focused on reducing the number of foreclosures, keeping families (both homeowners and renters) in their homes and softening the impact of foreclosures on communities.
The task force informs us that in the past four years, Michigan has ranked in the:
• Top 10 states for numbers of foreclosures;
• Top five states for a decline in property values (estimated at a more than 25% average loss in property value);
• Top five states for mortgage fraud and foreclosure rescue scams; and
• Top five states for percent of homes “underwater”—owing more on their mortgage than their home is currently worth (estimated to be more than 35%).
The task force just released a toolkit to help Michigan residents address issues related to foreclosure in their communities. The Community Foreclosure Response Toolkit is intended to be used by elected officials, neighborhood groups and individuals facing foreclosure.
There’s some good work being done in Michigan to address the foreclosure crisis. If you have friends who work in real estate, social services, zoning or neighborhood economic development, pass this resource on to them.
— Peter Ruark