Demand an Immediate Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions!

Make the Banks and Billionaires Pay for the Over-assessed Property Taxes!

These photos were taken at a protest organized by Call’Em Out demanding a refund on illegally assessed property taxes paid by Detroit residents over the past 10 years in an amount exceeding $600 million dollars. The protest took place at Detroit’s Coleman A. Young Municipal Center on February 28, 2020 and managed to shutdown city hall for several hours. Call’Em Out’s leader, Agnes Hitchcock, also called for a moratorium on residential water shutoffs.

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By Detroit Fighting Words Staff

Mass meetings of angry homeowners are being held across Detroit in response to the revelation that Detroit homeowners were overtaxed by over $600 million since 2010. The scam was due to the over-assessment of property values in violation of the State constitution. The Moratorium Now Coalition, which has been in the forefront of the fight to stop foreclosures and evictions in the city, issued the following leaflet in response to the upsurge.

Demand an Immediate Moratorium on Foreclosures and Evictions!

Make the Banks and Billionaires Pay for the Over-assessed Property Taxes!

The Banks destroyed our neighborhoods and looted our wealth with their crooked, predatory mortgage loans.

In addition, Wayne County added $421 million into Wayne County’s general fund since the financial meltdown in 2008 through interest and penalties on delinquent taxes and sale of foreclosed homes, according to an analysis by Bridge magazine, in June 2017.

  1.  A recent Detroit News article described how homeowners were overtaxed by the City of Detroit by at least $600 million dollars between 2010 and 2016. The article did not cover the period from 2006 to 2010, when average property values plummeted 87%.
    • More than one in three Detroit homes were foreclosed between the years 2005 and 2015. Since 2005, 139,699 of Detroit’s 384,672 homes were foreclosed because of mortgage defaults or unpaid taxes. African Americans lost 53% of their wealth due to the economic crisis triggered by the banks in 2008.
  1. All banks and lenders were active participants in the $4 billion subprime market in Detroit because the rate of profit on subprime loans was eight times greater than the comparable rate on traditional fixed-rate loans.
  1. In 2015, fifty-six percent of all mortgage foreclosures were blighted properties or have been foreclosed again for nonpayment of taxes. In many cases, banks simply walked away from the foreclosures and the accumulating property taxes.
  1. In 2009, the financial crisis hit the city financially hard, forcing cuts in city services and layoffs. Tax income from the casinos was essentially “garnished” and went directly to Wall Street.
  1. Billionaire Dan Gilbert’s Quicken Loans provided subprime mortgages to Detroiters specifically in 2003-2008. Quicken Loans directly foreclosed on 1800 homes in Detroit, 52% of which are now blighted or abandoned. (Source: Detroit News Special Report, 2014.). Beyond the homes it directly foreclosed, Quicken Loans had its hand in many more Detroit homes that were victimized by subprime lending and ultimate foreclosure.

When then-Governor Snyder forced a consent agreement on Detroit in 2012 and declared a financial emergency in 2013, interest rate swap penalties kicked in, costing Detroit taxpayers more than $850 million, far exceeding the $600 million that Detroiters were overtaxed from 2010-2016.

Dan Gilbert, the Illitch family, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, and other corporations, have received billions of dollars in “property tax captures” and other tax subsidies and exemptions. The over-taxation of Detroit homeowners has basically supported a massive giveaway of our wealth to corporate interests.

We demand:

      • An immediate moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
      • Wiping out of property tax payment plan balances for foreclosed homeowners.
      • A moratorium on residential property taxes for ten years – the lost tax revenue must be funded by Wall Street and the “property tax captures” and the elimination of corporate property tax exemptions.
      • Compensation for foreclosed homeowners by Wall Street and corporations who looted Detroit.

Issued by Moratorium NOW Coalition, @MoratoriumNowCoalition

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