Michigan real estate market could be on the mend

Lenawee County Treasurer says the number of foreclosures is going down and it could be a good sign that the Michigan Real Estate market is making a comeback.

Could this be one of the first signs that the real estate market in Michigan is coming back? According to the Daily Telegram, Lenawee County hit a record with 560 properties being noticed for a show cause hearing on tax foreclosures in 2011. The number was reduced to 408 by the time of the hearing last year but a record 78 properties ended up in foreclosure and put up for auction in July.

Lenawee County Treasurer, Marilyn Woods said the numbers are still high but there were three percent fewer properties on a tax foreclosure list that went before a Lenawee County circuit judge on Monday.

"I am hoping our office will be kept busy through March by people paying off delinquent taxes and pulling properties out of foreclosure." Mrs. Woods said, â??Weâ??ll probably get quite a few payments in the next few weeks.â??

Tax foreclosures in Lenawee County went up dramatically after the 2008 financial crisis. The number of properties noticed for a show cause hearing shot up from 269 in 2008 to 482 in 2009. The list continued growing to 506 in 2010 and 560 last year before falling 14 percent this year back to the 2009 level of 482. The Telegram also reported sales of tax foreclosed properties last year fell about $12,000 short of recovering $630,630 owed in back taxes. All but 15 of the 78 parcels were sold in public auctions in July, September and November.

â??So, hopefully, things are getting better,â?? Mrs. Woods said.

A foreclosure hearing is scheduled for March 1. Property owners will then have until March 31 to pay back taxes or make arrangements with the treasurer.