Bob Day, Legal Aid and Defender Association, 313-967-5642
Paramount Homeowners: Dana Hill, 313-412-4478; Steve Bynum, 313-915-8604; Deon Coleman, 313-626-8010
Paramount Homeowners to Put Alternatives for Saving Their Homes Before the Police and Fire Pension Board, Thursday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m.
What: Paramount Homeowners Will Propose Settlement to the Police and Fire Pension Board
When: Thursday, Nov. 29, 11 a.m.
Where: Coleman A. Young Center, Detroit, 2 Woodward Ave., 9th floor of Office Tower
Who: Paramount homeowners and community supporters
Homeowners swindled in a scheme financed by the Detroit Police and Fire Retirement System will put alternative proposals for saving their homes before the Pension Board this Thursday, November 29. The Pension Board agreed to place the Paramount homeowners on the agenda after homeowners and their supporters crowded the last Pension Board meeting on November 15.
The homeowners will propose alternative settlements to the scandal that threatens to nullify their ownership of homes purchased from Paramount Land Holdings. The Pension Board gave a $10 million loan to Paramount in 2009, which used the funds to buy up foreclosed properties for as little as $10, then sell them at a huge mark-up to buyers who were assured that Paramount had paid all back taxes. Homeowners learned otherwise when Wayne County began tax foreclosure proceedings for unpaid taxes amounting to as much as $15,000 per property.
Paramount took down-payments and monthly charges from buyers, but the land contracts did not include legal descriptions of the properties, so buyers could not record their land contracts. Paramount is now bankrupt and the Pension Board has filed suit for exclusive title to the homes, victimizing the homeowners once again. If they are evicted, the homes will be stripped and taxpayers left with nothing.
Homeowners will propose two alternative settlements. Under the first, the Pension Board would pay the back taxes, removing the threat of tax foreclosure. The homeowners would then negotiate a settlement with the Pension Board that provides them with legal title for their homes, in return for payments based on fair market value and the sweat equity and cash payments already made to Paramount.
Under the alternative proposal, the Pension Board would quitclaim the properties to the homeowners at no cost to either party, and the homeowners would then arrange with the County for a payment plan on the back taxes Paramount failed to pay.
The Pension Board made a deal with crooks who profited from the foreclosure crisis. Paramount homeowners are fighting back with assistance from the United Community Housing Coalition, Legal Aid and Defender, and UDM Law School’s Foreclosure Defense Clinic. They are demanding that the Pension Board negotiate a settlement that will transfer legal title to the buyers who are living in the homes, improving the properties, and helping to stabilize Detroit’s neighborhoods.