Dec. 30 2015 09:45 AM

Properties face foreclosure unless taxes are paid

It’s a diverse set of properties. One building houses a gym; another a laboratory. There is a manufacturer of plastic products. More than a few are dwellings. All of them share one thing, however: They face tax foreclosure if the owners fail to pay off back taxes, interests and fees by March 1.

Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing has identified the top 10 tax delinquents, who collectively owe more than $1 million. Seven of those in arrears are limited liability companies, the other three are individuals.

Using publicly available databases and documents provided by Schertzing, here’s the top 10 delinquents:

No. 1: DFCU Financial of Dearborn. That’s a credit union, which owns 134 E. Edgewood Blvd. The building on that property was built in 2005 and the whole parcel has an assessed value of $816,600, according to city of Lansing assessor records available online.

Schertzing’s records show the company failed to pay taxes in 2013 and 2014, racking up a tax bill — with fees and interest -- of $128,878.

No. 2 -- Cedar IV LLC. The building houses Labcorps operations and was built in 1949. It’s valued at $815,300, according to the city’s public records. The company owes $128,503.55 in back taxes, interests and fees from 2013 and 2014. The company did not return phone calls seeking comment.

No. 3: NBB Properties LLC. Jackpots is a bingo hall at 5443 S. Cedar, formerly a Ryan’s Steak House. Records show the building was completed in 1988 and the property is valued at $673,500. The outstanding balance is $114,217.

No. 4: S & S Acquisitions. S & S does not have a registration with the state, but property records refer to Dua and Associates as a contact. The law firm did not return messages left for comment. According to records provided by Schertzing, 39 of the company’s 51 properties in Ingham County are facing foreclosure, with the company owing $110,422 in back taxes, interest and fees.

No. 5: David and Marian Taylor. The Taylors own nine properties in Lansing, according to the records from Schertzing. Seven of those are facing foreclosure for a combined total of $107,131.82 in back taxes, interest and fees.

No. 6: UN Michigan LLC. The company owes $107,061.43 in back taxes on a property in south Lansing. However, the resident agent listed for the company — Kelvin Koh — could not be located. A visit to the Okemos address provided to state authorities for Koh found none of the businesses there knew who he was. The property has a value of $809,000.

No. 7: Molded Plastics Industries.The company owes $89,264 on two properties in Holt. Records show the properties have an total assessed value of $604,000. When reached by phone, a person who wished not to be named said the company had been struggling for business in the past couple of years, but that it had struck a deal with Schertzing to pay off the tax debt.

Schertzing said he found no documents to support that, noting that the foreclosure process continues with delinquent taxes until the debt is paid off — even after there is an agreement in place. “And is 22 percent interest really a good business decision,” he asked, referring to the rate charged on back taxes.

No. 8: John Linn. Linn, of Williamston, owes $87,619 on 18 different properties in the county, mostly in Williamston.

No. 9. Mohamed Abduljaber. Abduljaber, who was convicted in federal court of Medicaid fraud, has 26 properties in his name, according to records from Schertzing. Only one of those properties is not delinquent, leaving him racking up a back tax bill of $81,858. Some of the properties were identified in court documents for forfeiture to the federal government. It is unclear why those properties were not forfeited.

No. 10: Robert and Donna J Holberg. The Holbergs owe $73,169.11 on 12 different properties.

How tax foreclosure works

The list of properties facing foreclosure, as published in City Pulse in this issue, is based on taxes owed from 2013. A taxing authority — for example, the City of Lansing — issues property tax bills on July 1 and Dec. 1 of each year.

A property owner has until March 1 of the following year — 2014 in this instance — to pay the bill. Failing that, the bill is referred to the county for collection. The county treasurer spends the next year working to collect overdue taxes. However, once a property is referred to the county treasurer, it is considered delinquent.

In December of the referral year, more than a year after delinquency collections from the county began, the treasurer publishes a list of properties facing tax foreclosure. In February, property owners facing foreclosure have the opportunity to plead their case in circuit court.

By March, if the owner is unsuccessful, the court issues foreclosures on properties and the county takes possession. In June, if the property is occupied, the county proceeds with evictions, and sometime between July and October, the county auctions those properties off in a public auction.