Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Milwaukee Foreclosure's - The Gift That Keeps on Taking

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel did a watchdog report on another "fine mess" the City of Milwaukee has gotten us into. Well actually it's a mess that's been going on in front of the administration and common council and was well hidden.

In reality it is lack of communication between city agencies with the help of the county.

To see how this chess game is played to the disadvantage of Milwaukee take a peek at the article.  Basically a foreclosed house is sold at sheriff's sale, the city is notified for tax purposes without the new owner having to claim ownership in the form of a deed which is not required by law. So it seems the Department of Neighborhood Services can have the correct information, but it often doesn't share the updated information with Treasurer's and City Assessor's offices. As a consequence a tax bill is sent in the name of the person who lost a home to foreclosure, often without them knowing it.

Sound confusing? It is.

What's even more discouraging are some of the quotes in the newspaper article.
"It's not uncommon that the tax bill goes to the wrong person," said Kerry Urban, special assistant to the city treasurer. "It's kind of sad because it happens so frequently."
 Asked why the departments were not already sharing the records, (Aaron) Szopinski said: "We assumed the system was functioning normally and properly."
Watching the Zoning, Neighborhoods & Development Committee was even more infuriating. Szopinski and a representative from the Department of Neighborhood Services tried to smooth over this quandary by saying the relevant departments are talking with each other.

Hey Mayor Barrett's administration how about doing something and doing it quickly. Action is required here, not more meetings by suits.

A sad commentary for the city is that State Rep. Evan Goyke (D-Milwaukee) is trying to fix this issue with a change in state law. A few aldermen commented that with a Republican controlled legislature they weren't sure that Goyke's efforts would be considered.

Another sign of the insignificance of Milwaukee area Democrats.

No matter how you look at, this needs to be addressed right away. Lives already set back by financial difficulties are being hurt, some vulture land purchasers are playing the system and making some easy cash and Milwaukee government - you need to look at home first before laying blame anywhere else.

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