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Resources on Housing/Real Estate Issues in Michigan,
Homeless Issues and Reverse Mortgage Info


2012 National Mortgage Foreclosure Settlement Summary

April, 2012:  Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette and 47 other states entered into a settlement with the five leading bank mortgage servicers to address allegations of faulty foreclosure processes and poor servicing of mortgages that harmed Michigan homeowners.

The settlement requires the bank mortgage servicers to provide up to $25 billion in sanctions and relief.  Michigan residents are expected to receive approximately $780 million in benefits, including a $97 million payment directly to the State of Michigan.

Along with news of the settlement and more information about what it means, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette also issued warnings about scammers already trying to use the national mortgage settlement to swindle consumers:

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette…entered into a settlement with the five leading bank mortgage servicers: Bank of America, Citi, Chase, Wells Fargo, and GMAC/Ally.  Under the settlement, the servicers will spent at least $19 billion to provide different forms of consumer relief, including principal balance reductions, interest rate reductions, short sales, and deeds in lieu of foreclosure.

Borrowers will not immediately know if they are eligible for relief.  The settlement was entered on April 4, 2012 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia.

Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette today warned Michigan residents of a scam in which criminals are telling victims of the foreclosure crisis they can help them receive benefits from the national mortgage settlement for a fee.  Schuette warned of the scams during testimony before the Michigan House Banking and Financial Services Committee to address the impact of a multi-billion nationwide settlement with five of the nation's largest banks/mortgage servicers.

"Do not provide personal information or pay money to anyone who claims they need it to help you access your mortgage settlement benefits," said Schuette.  "Eligible citizens will be contacted by a professional settlement administrator or their own bank to receive free relief.  If you have been contacted by a scammer, file a complaint with my office immediately."

Resources and Information Regarding Michigan Real Estate:

  • Community Housing Network
    Committed to providing homes for people in need, including those who are homeless, people living with a disability or low income, and anyone facing a housing crisis.  Legal Resources listings
  • Facing foreclosure?
    There is now a toll-free number (866-946-7432) offering information and counseling to those with mortgage problems. It is operated by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA). Last week the state announced two new programs: one to help families with adjustable rate mortgages who need a lower-interest fixed rate mortgage, and another program to assist people with delinquent mortgages at risk of losing their home. Both programs are available to those with household incomes at or below $72,250, with a home price no greater than $216,750.
  • Foreclosure Assistance Links
    From the State Bar of Michigan.
  • Habitat for Humanity of Oakland County
    A nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry. We seek to eliminate poverty housing and homelessness from Oakland County, Michigan, and the world, and to make decent shelter a matter of conscience and action.
  • Housing Bureau for Seniors
    Works throughout Washtenaw County to enable and assist older adults with seeking and maintaining appropriate and affordable living arrangements.
  • Terry Allon, Elderly Foreclosure Prevention Coordinator
    2401 Plymouth Road, Suite C
    Ann Arbor, MI 48105
    Telephone: 734-998-9341
  • Harriet Bakalar
    Elderly Eviction Prevention Coordinator
    Telephone: 734-998-9339
  • Housing Planning Library (Community Housing Network)
    If a person wants to explore their housing options, or plan for a family member in the future, these links to subjects about housing issues will provide the background and information necessary for a well informed decision and an opportunity to explore the various available choices.
  • Humble Design
    A Michigan nonprofit formed to provide families coming out of homeless shelters with functional and welcoming home interiors.  Also see blog post.
  • Michigan Foreclosure Response Toolkit (MI Foreclosure
    This toolkit is intended for any individual, group or organization that wants to respond effectively to the foreclosure crisis in their own backyards. It is filled with Michigan-specific foreclsoure-related information, resources, strategies for mortgage and tax foreclsoure prevention and response, as well as best-practice models from around the state.
  • Michigan Housing Locator (Michigan State Housing Development Authority)
    To find affordable rental housing.
  • Michigan State Housing Development Authority
    Provides financial and technical assistance to create and preserve safe and decent affordable housing.
  • Stanek & Perrin Construction (accessible housing contractor)
    Complete home modifications for the physically challenged.
    Patti's Note: We have not worked with these folks directly, but some of our clients have.
  • United Community Housing Coalition
    A non profit that focuses on community improvement and also offers free legal services to Detroit residents facing housing issues.

Articles and Publications:

  • New Law Regarding Principal Residence Exemption (4-17-08)
    Governor Granholm signed a bill into law that significantly changes the way the Principal Residence Exemption, also known as the homestead exemption, applies to Michigan property owners.
  • Notice Concerning Public Act 115 of 2012 (State of MI Dept. of Treasury)
    On May 1, 2012, Governor Snyder signed Public Act 115 of 2012 (2011 Senate Bill 349), which amended…, the General Property Tax Act. The Act makes two significant changes: It establishes two deadlines by which a Principal Residence Exemption may be filed, and it creates a new conditional rescission for "foreclosure entities."
  • Schuette Praises Governor And Legislature On $97.2 Million Fund To Help Troubled Homeowners (7/18/12 press release)
    Attorney General Bill Schuette today praised Governor Rick Snyder and GOP legislative leaders for passing legislation that largely follows his recommendations to strengthen Michigan’s economy and bring relief to countless residents struggling with foreclosure.  The legislation now heads to Snyder’s desk for final approval. 
  • Tenants and Landlords – A Practical Guide (MSU – Detroit College of Law)
    A booklet designed to inform tenants and landlords about their rights and responsibilities in rental relationships.
  • Troy Community Housing Network Gets Grant to Rehabilitate Homes (Crain's Detroit Business – 7/14/10)
    The Federal Home Loan Bank of Indianapolis has awarded Troy-based Community Housing Network a $155,000 grant to acquire and rehabilitate six Macomb County properties to provide affordable housing for people with disabilities.
  • Unlawful Eviction in Michigan
    In Michigan, a landlord is precluded from using self-help to evict a tenant. The landlord must use the court system and may not harass or try to force the tenant to move out by using violence or threat of violence.

Homeless Issues – Michigan:

  • Homeless Assistance Recovery Program (HARP) (Questions and Answers)
    A program from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority that administers the Section 8 Voucher Program.
  • Neighborhood Service Organization
    A private non-profit human service agency with focus on homelessness, among other issues.
  • South Oakland Shelter
    Dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness.
  • The Empowerment Plan
    There are 20,000 people in Detroit that are homeless. This is my story about a humanitarian project called The Empowerment Plan. Meet the re-designed coat, Element S. It is self heated, waterproof, and transforms into a sleeping bag at night. Made by a group of homeless women who will be paid minimum wage, fed and housed to create these coats for those living on the streets. The focus is on the system to create jobs for those that desire them and coats for those that need them at no cost. The goal is to empower, employ, educate, and instil pride.

Reverse Mortgage Info – Michigan:

  • A Reverse Mortgage Solution (Mortgage Now, Inc. – John Markoul)
    In today's adverse financial climate many seniors find themselves either unable to comfortably meet their mortgage payments and or need additional income to meet their obligations. Selling your home in a declining real estate market may not be a wise option. Tapping the equity in your home through a reverse mortgage is worth considering.
  • Reverse Mortgage (Wells Fargo – Tim Thomas)
    A quick Q&A guide on how to optimize retirement cash flow without selling your home.

Tax Matters – Michigan:

  • Leavitt v. City of Novi (State of Michigan Court of Appeals – 11/18/08)
    Appeal challenging judgment rejecting challenges to City of Novi's denial of request for a principal residence homestead exemption.