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What's next for 8,000 properties left over from tax auction?

The second Wayne County Tax Foreclosure auction came and went last week, leaving lots of people with new properties to take care of and a lot of statistics.

Model D tapped Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder of Whydontweownthis, which has been following the auctions closely, for some statistics from this year's auction.

Approximately 22,500 properties in Wayne County went into foreclosure this year for not paying taxes. A vast majority of those properties are inside the city of Detroit. About 2,000 of those were withdrawn from the auction by the county. Normally, properties are withdrawn because the county has worked out a payment plan with the owners or the owners have repaid the overdue taxes.

Of the 20,000-plus properties that went to auction, nearly 12,000 sold. Another 8,686 properties were not bid on during the county's two foreclosure auctions. Bidding in the first auction in September starts at the amount of back taxes and bidding during the second auction in October for properties left over from the first auction starts at $500. Last year, Wayne County re-offered similar leftover properties in a third auction. What happens to those leftover properties that no one wants is unclear.

"It's so confusing, so confusing," Paffendorf says.

The Wayne County Tax Foreclosure Auction netted $49,975,566 in bids this fall. The total sum of overdue taxes in this year's auction stands at $275,521,615. That leaves a tax collection gap of $225,546,049 in unpaid property taxes. The lion's share of those taxes are for properties in Detroit.

Source: Jerry Paffendorf, co-founder of WhyDontWeOwnThis.com
Writer: Jon Zemke
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