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Judge halts foreclosures of Wayne County’s occupied properties

A Detroit neighborhood near Sawyer Street and Greenview Avenue has been hard hit by foreclosures in recent years.

Wayne County won’t foreclose on any occupied properties this year, after a judge issued an order Friday to withhold them from the annual auction. 

Treasurer Eric Sabree asked Wayne County Circuit Judge Timothy Kenny on Thursday to issue the order because of COVID-19. The pandemic made it too difficult for the public to access government offices to get help and many other owners facing foreclosure are waiting on financial aid, such as federal rental assistance, Sabree told the Free Press.  

It was a reversal for Sabree, who earlier this year said he’d proceed with tax foreclosures in 2021 after halting them last year amid the pandemic. 

Nearly 2,400 owner-occupied homes, 4,100 non-owner-occupied residential properties, such as rentals, and another 178 occupied commercial properties countywide won’t face tax foreclosure this year, the office said. The treasurer could still foreclose on up to 5,300 unoccupied properties and vacant land, mostly in Detroit.

Contact Christine MacDonald: 313-418-2149 or

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