Rutledge to Introduce Bill to Help Communities Support Struggling Homeowners

Legislation is part of House Democrats' Homeowner Protection Plan
Monday, March 14, 2011

LANSING – State Representative David Rutledge (D-Ypsilanti) today announced his proposal to ensure that local units of government know which properties are in danger of property tax foreclosure, allowing communities to assist homeowners struggling to make ends meet. The bill is part of the Homeowner Protection Plan, a legislative package that will create new tools to protect homeowners from property tax foreclosure, especially seniors and working families that are hurting in this economic downturn.

“Communities should have the tools to help residents who are facing an impending foreclosure on their home,” said Rutledge. “Foreclosure can be devastating for an individual homeowner and his or her family, and inevitably affects the community surrounding the property. This plan is about empowering communities to have the necessary information to assist homeowners, and providing additional resources to avoid foreclosure.”

The legislation is part of a package to be introduced by House Democrats this week.

The Homeowner Protection Plan aims to standardize and simplify the process for dealing with delinquent property taxes.

“Washtenaw County residents are fortunate to have a number of quality programs designed to help homeowners stay in their homes,” said Rutledge. “But many homeowners simply do not know what is available to them. I spoke with communities in our county about the need for earlier information about properties in danger of foreclosure, so that homeowners could be notified of resources near them that could help.”

The legislation will help local governments communicate with their residents and connect them to resources that could help them avoid foreclosure, if such resources are available at the local community level.

“The impact of the economic downturn has been devastating for families throughout our state, including seniors and working people,” Rutledge said. “State government must do whatever possible – including helping to create an environment for job creation – to support Michigan residents in danger of foreclosure so that our state can move forward.”