18 Residents Sue Wayne County Treasurer’s Office over Unlawful Foreclosures

by San Antonio Attorney

When the Wayne County Treasurer’s Office and Metro Detroit cities unlawfully seized and sold houses to property developers, 18 affected families asked a federal court to issue an order to prevent their eviction.

The residents who asked for the injunction came from different places such as Dearborn, Garden Center, Lincoln Park, Redford Township and Wayne.

The residents claim in their petition that the treasurer’s offices misled them to believe that they still have ample time to retain their mortgage, Detroit News reports.

Tarek Baydoun, the resident’s official lawyer stated in the complaint that the officials failed to disseminate the homeowners of their impending foreclosure and even went to the extent of not giving them a chance to pay in installments, which could have prevented foreclosure.

“County defendants recklessly, knowingly and/or maliciously engaged in a conspiracy to withhold the required notices and deny payment plans in a manner that was neither lawful nor rational,” according to the complaint.

The people accused in the complaint include: Former Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski, retired Treasurer Raymond Wojtowicz, and 3 real estate developers that bought the properties.

In response to the issue, Szymanski said that his staff already explained to the residents their taxpaying options and even went to the extent of ‘assisting as much as they could to avoid foreclosure,’ according to an e-mail sent to Detroit News.

It is very typical in a suburban setting that governments would purchase foreclosed houses and sell them to property developers at par with the price of the unpaid taxes.  Developers are obliged to make changes on the purchased land but still receive profits from these improvements as well.

A thousand residents have already lost their houses due to unlawful foreclosures.  Baydoun requested U.S.  District Judge Judith E.  Levy to grant a class action lawsuit.

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