DETROIT (WWJ) – While the city of Detroit continues to handle its financial crisis through bankruptcy, there is another form of crisis that appears to be getting worse. Detroit’s home foreclosure crisis is undermining the city’s comeback, so says local attorney Vanessa Fluker.
Fluker represents homeowners in their fight to keep their properties and describes the battle as “pushing a heavy rock up a hill.”
“If you look at the number of foreclosures that have occurred in Detroit over the past five years or seven years, say from 2005 and forward, you will see that that’s very comparable to the number of our people that have been decreased in the population in the city of Detroit,” says Fluker.
She says home foreclosures in Detroit are the main problem facing the city, with people losing their homes unfairly and Detroit losing revenue. In some cases, she says it’s outrageous.
“One is a case where a gentleman was in a trial modification and he made payments for 22 months, faithfully. They sold his house at the sheriff’s sale and they were still taking the trial modification payments. We’re in the appellate court right now because they’re like, ‘Well, the bank took the payments, so what?’, explains Fluker.
She adds, “And it’s sad because people are doing exactly what they’ve been told to do by the government to participate in these programs. They’re doing it, they’re spending time and effort and they’re still getting foreclosed on. They’re fighting tooth and nail to stay in their homes.”
RealtyTrac, however, shows the home foreclosure rate on the decline in the city. Meantime, Wayne County is preparing to auction off more than 20,000 properties — most of them in Detroit.