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Posted on Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 10:58 a.m.

Ypsilanti Township tackles another foreclosed home filled with trash, animal feces

By Tom Perkins

Ypsilanti Township officials are targeting yet another home full of trash, animal feces and bugs that is in foreclosure and owned by a bank.

At its Tuesday night meeting, the Township Board of Trustees approved taking legal action against a yet-unknown bank or mortgage company that holds the mortgage to the condo at 2972 Roundtree.

The Roundtree Condo Association alerted the township to the problem after a smell began to emanate from the home, which is attached to several other condos. The condo has been abandoned for at least two years and it appears the residents left all their belongings.

Photos show a variety of bugs, piles of trash and piles of the residents’ belongings. But officials were pleased no live animals were found in this case.

Building inspector Ron Fulton said officials weren't immediately sure which bank owned the house, but a "loss mitigation" company called Trott and Trott was working as an agent for the mortgage holder.

Fulton said inspectors found evidence that the company had come in and filled the toilets and traps with anti-freeze and turned off the utilities so there wouldn’t be any water damage to the property. But they neglected to clean up the piles of debris and animal feces that ultimately affect the quality of life for the neighbors, he said.

“They have no care to preserve value for neighbors’ properties," he said. "They saw to it that their place is not going to leak, then they walked away and they’re content, even with all the problems left for others.”

Township Attorney Doug Winters said there are many more cases of foreclosed homes left deteriorating by banks, but township staff doesn’t want to overload the board and legal department with too many cases at once.

As he has in the past, Winters called on the federal or state government to assist and said there should be criminal charges for burdening local municipalities and taxpayers with cleaning up the messes.

“I don’t see how the township can be the lone wolf out there trying to make these mortgage companies and banks accountable for the messes they’ve left behind,” he said.

He suggested meeting with other municipalities facing similar issues and figuring out a solution.

Officials will seek a court order allowing them to clean the Roundtree property if the mortgage holder fails to do so. The clean-up would be done at taxpayer expense and a lein placed on property so when it is purchased, the township and taxpayers would be reimbursed.

“Unfortunately, we see too many cases like this,” Fulton said. “We are obviously trying to get on top of it as fast as we can and these cases come to us frequently. But if anyone knows about an abandoned or foreclosed home, we sure want to know about it so we can address any issues before they get out of hand.”



Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 2:47 a.m.

"The condo has been abandoned for at least two years... officials were pleased no live animals were found in this case." Well, after two years, I wouldn't expect to find any live animals anyway. Saying "officials were pleased," juxtaposed with that "two year" line, seems to imply something uncouth.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 7:36 p.m.

I love how the ypsi twp building dept picks and chooses these foreclosure cases. should not this be opening a can of worms for all residents with blighted neighbors to call on the building department to fix the problem. leave it to the ypsi twp lawyers/city manager/consultant for over 30 years to decide what is good for the building dept. to pick battles with. sure wouldnt see the union fighting these blighted cases 10 years ago during the housing boom. but no one should be surprised of this after reading the observor story this month about the fight against police services costing taxpayers over 1 million in costs for lawyers.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 6:11 p.m.

Trott and Trott is a law firm located in Southfield, MI. Their client of note is HSBC, a lending institution with a less than stellar reputation. Perhaps Trott qnd Trott believe that by claiming to be "loss mitigation company", its hands will not be soiled by its close contact with HSBC (formerly known as the Hong Kong and Shanghai Banking Company).


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:15 p.m.

These associations and neighbors need to help protect their interest by checking out abandoned homes or apartments before they smell something. I am not generally in favor of more laws and ordinances but the local governing body should be able to request a meeting with the owners of abandoned home and if they get no response be able to enter the dwelling before it gets out of control.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:57 p.m.

jcj: It appears that's what the Township is trying to do. <a href=""></a>


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:43 p.m.

Sounds like one business is booming during this period of &quot;Hope &amp; Change&quot;- Foreclosures!


Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 9:14 p.m.

And just how many mortgages did Enron give out? Fannie + Freddie + Barney = Big Mess.

Michael K.

Sun, Dec 11, 2011 : 1:51 a.m.

Huh - I always thought his name was spelled &quot;P-H-I-L&quot;: Economists state that the 1999 legislation spearheaded by Gramm — the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act — was significantly to blame for the 2007 subprime mortgage crisis and 2008 global economic crisis. The Act is most widely known for repealing portions of the Glass–Steagall Act, which had regulated the financial services industry In December 2000, Phil Gramm helped muscle a bill through Congress without a committee hearing that deregulated energy commodity trading. This act allowed Enron to operate an unregulated power auction — EnronOnline — that quickly gained control over a significant share of California's electricity and natural gas market.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 5:44 p.m.

Yes, the effects of giving anybody a mortgage whether they could afford the payments or not, starting in the 90's, which inflated the housing market beyond the point of sanity, is still being felt today.


Sat, Dec 10, 2011 : 4:50 p.m.

Yes, the foreclosure problem that started in about 2007 continues. The problem has finally ebbed and is now declining, but it hasn't ended yet.