‘Let’s Talk’: An Open Letter About Tax Foreclosure From Raymond J. Wojtowicz, Wayne County Treasurer
Dear Wayne County Taxpayer,
As your Wayne County Treasurer I know firsthand that these are challenging economic times and many citizens are having trouble paying their property taxes. By law I am required to collect delinquent taxes to fund essential government services for the county and the 43 municipalities in Wayne County. These taxes fund services including police and fire protection, trash collection, and schools for our children.
While by law I must collect taxes, I do not want to take anyone’s property. That is why I have established the Taxpayer Assistance Department and staffed it with trained professionals who are helping taxpayers. If you owe taxes for 2009 or any earlier years and need help, we need to hear from you before March 30, 2012. It is best if you contact us early. I don’t want your property; I do need your tax payments. Let’s Talk!
This year a record setting 45,000 properties in Wayne County face tax foreclosure. These are properties that have taxes from 2009 and before that have not been paid. If arrangements are not made to pay the taxes, the law in Michigan requires that these properties be foreclosed and turned over to the county. The law further requires that these properties then be sold at auction. Don’t lose your property to tax foreclosure. Contact us right away. Let’s Talk!
1. Did you know that there are several ways to pay your delinquent property taxes?
A. If you want to pay with a credit card go to http://www.treasurer.waynecounty.com and follow the payment instructions.
B. You can also mail a cashier’s check or money order to: the Office of the Wayne County Treasurer, PO Box 33555, Detroit, MI 48232-5555. Your payment coupon must be included.
C. Finally, you can visit the Office of the Wayne County Treasurer at 400 Monroe, 5th Floor Detroit, MI 48226.
Please know that due to budget cuts the office will be closed the first and third Monday of each month. If that Monday is a holiday the office will be closed the next day.
2. Did you know you can enter a Stipulated Payment Agreement to make partial payments on your 2009 and prior property taxes?
If you want to make payment arrangements for your delinquent taxes you must sign an agreement and return it by March 30, 2012. You must return the agreement with a cashier’s check or money order for not less than 20% of the unpaid 2009 and prior years’ taxes. Return the agreement and the payment to the Office of the Wayne County Treasurer before March 30th. Agreements without a payment will not be accepted or processed. For more information contact the Wayne County Treasurer’s Taxpayer Assistance Department at email@example.com or call 313-224-6105. Please understand the agreement isn’t valid until signed by the Treasurer’s Office.
3. Did you know that if you are a homeowner you can avoid property tax foreclosure due to your unpaid 2009 delinquent taxes by taking action today?
If you own and occupy a home that you live in as your principal residence, and are unable to pay your 2009 taxes by March 30th, you may be eligible for a Distressed Owner Occupant Extension (DOOE). To apply for a DOOE, contact the Treasurer’s Office Taxpayer Assistance Department at 313-224-6105, go to http://www.treasurer.waynecounty.com, or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for the necessary forms and instructions. When approved, you can receive up to an additional year to pay your 2009 taxes. Inquire right away. The deadline for applications is March 15, 2012.
4. Did you know that the Wayne County Taxpayer Assistance Department can answer your questions regarding payment arrangements on your delinquent taxes?
If you cannot pay all of your delinquent property taxes or if you have questions, do not panic, and do not ignore the problem. Ask for help. Email us at email@example.com or call the Taxpayer Assistance Department at 313-224-6105. The trained staff will assist you in addressing your situation.
5. Did you know the Office of the Wayne County Treasurer provides contact information for organizations that can answer many of your questions regarding delinquent taxes?
The Treasurer’s Office cannot offer legal advice. If you need legal advice, special assistance, or are having difficulty getting through on the phones to the Wayne County Taxpayer Assistance Department you can contact one of many local organizations working with our office to help taxpayers. For a listing, visit http://www.treasurer.waynecounty.com or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember, my office is ready to help. Please don’t lose your property for nonpayment of property taxes. If in doubt or you need help, Let’s Talk!
Sincerely, Raymond J. Wojtowicz, Wayne County Treasurer