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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Washtenaw County Treasurer
Washtenaw County Treasurer Declares Tax Foreclosure Moratorium
for Occupied Properties During Pandemic
Catherine McClary, Washtenaw County Treasurer, declared a moratorium from tax foreclosure for occupied properties this year. Tax foreclosure occurs annually by state law in February and property owners have until March 31 to redeem their property from foreclosure or face eviction. This year’s tax foreclosure judicial hearing occurs next week.
“Last year,” McClary explained, “the pandemic had just begun after all the tax foreclosure hearings took place and March 31 was coming up quickly. The Governor’s Office reached out to me and we agreed to extend the tax foreclosure redemption deadline to June 30 on a state-wide basis. This year the pandemic is still ongoing, and we have tenant eviction moratoriums in place, so it only makes sense to extend the tax foreclosure deadline until next year.”
She knows homeowners, landlords, and small business owners faced special difficulties this past year with job losses, an inability to pay rent, or an inability to remain open for business. There is a legal process for a County Treasurer to establish Financial Hardship extensions for properties that face tax foreclosure. McClary used this process to amend the Financial Hardship Policy to include:
In 2021 during the COVID-19 pandemic, for tax years 2018 and prior, the Washtenaw County Treasurer is withholding all OCCUPIED property from tax foreclosure, regardless of Principal Residence Exemption status or classification, for financial hardship in alignment with state and federal laws (including the federal CARES Act), executive orders, and Michigan state court administrative orders (including Michigan State Court Administrative Order No. 2020-17) addressing evictions during the COVID-19 pandemic.
For the full text of the policy, or for additional help to help get caught up on property tax payments go to www.Washtenaw.org/Treasurer. To make a secure property tax payment, go to www.Washtenaw.org/PAY. The Treasurer accepts partial payments.
McClary and her staff work with a variety of other community organizations to provide referrals, resources, income tax preparation, budget and debt counseling without charge. They created robust programs, including a County revolving loan fund, Bridge Loans to Affordability, to assist homeowners. The initial funding for the Bridge Loan Fund, and its partner program, Home for Generations, was provided by the Board of Commissioners in their 2018 Budget process. The Board has been supportive of the Treasurer’s foreclosure prevention efforts for more than two decades. “Their advocacy and support reinforce the impact of this tax foreclosure moratorium,” said McClary.