1000s of Detroit-area property owners apply for help to avoid foreclosure; deadline Tuesday

Lifestyle and Budget Associated Press

Up to 17,000 Detroit-area property owners have entered into payment plans hoping to avoid losing their homes to tax foreclosure, and that number will likely rise.

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Hundreds of applicants lined up before 7 a.m. Tuesday outside the Wayne County Treasurer's Office in Detroit before the tax repayment plan deadline. Chief Deputy Treasurer David Szymanski says between 15,000 and 17,000 property owners have signed up so far.

Homeowner Kevin Franklyn says he hopes to reach a deal on at least $15,000 he owes on his Detroit home and rental properties. Franklyn says he fell behind when tenants defaulted on rent.

City and county officials urged state lawmakers to pass foreclosure prevention bills and Gov. Rick Snyder signed the legislation to cut interest rates, reduce down payments and cap past due taxes.