Wayne County tax foreclosure crisis: “If you can save art, you can save people’s homes”

Jun 19, 2017

Jerry Paffendorf​, CEO of Loveland Technologies based in Detroit and the San Francisco Bay Area, thinks Wayne County’s heavy reliance on late tax payments to balance its once-out-of-whack budget is creating a push to foreclose on homes, rather than do all it can to keep people in their homes.

"We can do the same thing with tax foreclosure – if you can save art, you can save people's homes," Paffendorf said.
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

“To put it very succinctly," he said, "Wayne County makes more money when people don’t pay their taxes on time than when they do."

He said one in three properties in Detroit has been tax foreclosed and then auctioned off to strangers in the last 15 years.

Paffendorf has another idea. His startup works with governments, developers, neighborhood groups and more, all to gather and present information about property.

In Detroit, that has meant battling what it calls a “plague” of tax foreclosures, and trying to keep people in their homes to help battle neighborhood blight.

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