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Posted on Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 5:58 a.m.

Washtenaw County tax foreclosures: Number of properties heading to auction drops 33 percent

By Lizzy Alfs


216 N. Lincoln St. in Ypsilanti, along with 212 N. Lincoln St., are headed to a tax foreclosure auction this summer.

Courtney Sacco |

The number of Washtenaw County properties heading to tax foreclosure auction this summer is down about 33 percent from 2012, said county Treasurer Catherine McClary.

The total number of properties up for bid this year is 184, compared with 274 properties in 2012 and the record-setting 637 properties in 2011. The former owners of the properties up for auction failed to pay their 2010 taxes, which includes property, income, federal and state taxes.

“The economy is improving,” McClary said. “People are getting jobs back and they’re able to start making their payment plans. They’re able to get caught up and there are fewer delinquent taxes in the pipeline.”

The list of properties is still being prepared, but McClary said it includes vacant lots, commercial buildings and residential homes. Some properties — like vacant lots in a partially developed subdivision —are packaged together at auction.


212 N. Lincoln St. in Ypsilanti and the neighboring 216 N. Lincoln St. are up for auction this year after the owner failed to pay back taxes.

Courtney Sacco |

The minimum bid price for properties includes taxes, fees, interest, penalties and the cost to bring it to auction.

McClary said the list of 184 properties includes more homes and fewer commercial properties and non-developed subdivisions this year. Some properties that will be up for auction include:

  • Two adjacent commercial properties at 212 and 216 N. Lincoln St. in Ypsilanti
  • 30 acres of vacant land in Sylvan Township
  • 52 parcels in a partially developed subdivision in Superior Township
  • A 6.6-acre vacant property that was once a mobile home park at 953 E. Michigan Ave. in Ypsilanti Township
  • A 13.2-acre site near Tuttle Hill and Willis Road in Augusta Township

McClary said improving economic factors, partnered with the new Step Forward Michigan program, are helping people avoid tax foreclosure. The program allows residents who meet a minimum set of qualifications apply for up to $30,000 in past due property tax or mortgage payment relief. (Read more)

“I think this is going to be a very nice auction this year and it may be one of the last with some good properties,” McClary said.

The county plans to distribute the 184 properties across six auctions to make it easier for buyers who are bidding on several items. The auctions will start on: July 16, July 26, Aug. 2, Aug. 9, Aug. 16 and Sept. 20. If any of the properties aren’t sold, there will be auctions for the remaining parcels on Oct. 18 and Nov. 5.

“We’ve really tried to split things up,” she said. “The 20 properties in any one auction will be as different as we can make them.”

The county is finalizing dates to host open houses at some of the properties, so that interested parties can view a house before purchasing.

McClary said the parcels up for bid will be available for online viewing in June. (

Lizzy Alfs is a business reporter for Reach her at 734-623-2584 or email her at Follow her on Twitter at



Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 12:44 p.m.

Hopefully we can get that Georgetown Mall property to auction before too much longer. Then we can bulldoze the property and let the wildflowers start growing. And that would be a huge improvement.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 12:12 p.m.

"The economy is improving," [county Treasurer Catherine McClary] said. "People are getting jobs back and they're able to start making their payment plans. They're able to get caught up and there are fewer delinquent taxes in the pipeline." Perhaps Governor Snyder's economic initiatives are actually taking hold. As always, I like to give credit where credit is due.


Thu, Apr 25, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

I am not sure you want to go there just yet. His honor's plan isn't working just yet given his level of school funding is laying off teachers, forcing school children to walk to school like a third world country, and closing schools. Cuts in funding to the public school system have been an absolute disaster, and the Republican leadership has failed to solve the legacy cost problem. Snyder can take a victory lap when public education is again functional. Right now, he is busy funding prisons at the expense of education and his economic plans have yet to yield adequate funding for school children. Take a victory lap when tax revenue has recovered to levels where we have a functional public education system, but not now.