Foreclosures cut down to 195 in December.

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ARENAC COUNTY— The total 2019 delinquent tax for foreclosures in Arenac County started at $1,939,968 and has now been cut down to $249,000 that is still due. Beginning in March, 3,048 parcels were given notices of foreclosure and that has now been cut down to 195 as of the end of December. 

A hearing will be held on Jan. 22 at the courthouse for those who still owe money and do not think they will be able to repay it. Financial data and information is collected at the hearing to figure out payment. There is also a hardship policy which would extend the payment plan one year. 

According to Arenac county treasurer Dennis Stawowy, the number of foreclosures should be cut down to around 40 or 50 after the hearing. 

There is steady decline in parcels each month they send out notices. According to Stawowy, in March, there were 3,048 unpaid parcels which dropped to 1,154 in November. By the end of December, there were 194 left unpaid. 

“We have never had more than 62 parcels and less than 34 since 2008,” said Stawowy. “Our goal is to one day have none.” 

Stawowy said last year they ended up only having 39 parcels that didn’t end up getting paid for. “It is steady to have about 40 foreclosures a year,” said Stawowy. 

At last year's auction, the 39 parcels sold for $160,000. Any extra money made from the auction goes into a foreclosure fund to use to pay for next year’s cost of a year's worth of notices. 

In 2015, the county sold 40 properties for $33,000 but needed $72,850 to pay their taxes. “Luckily, so far these past 10 years, we have had enough years that were over that we have been able to cover taxes from prior years so that it has been break even,” said Stawowy. 

On Feb. 12 there is a hearing in circuit court where it then goes to the judge, who is looking for mistakes in the foreclosure process. 

“We run through the foreclosure process with the judge, file all the document samples to show we visited and posted properties, sent out notices, certified mail notices, advertised in the newspaper, and tried to find the owner to make arrangements, said Stawowy. “If he is satisfied, he will foreclose and give the parcels to the county.” 

The judge sets the foreclosure date for April 1, giving one last chance to redeem the property from Feb.12. An auction will be set up in August to sell the properties.

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