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Foreclosure: Losing Your Home

by Vince Bushellen espanol

Foreclosure is the legal process by which a local government takes title to a property. Milwaukee County is the local government body that would take this action as a last resort when all other efforts at collection of unpaid property taxes had failed. The foreclosure process can begin in Milwaukee County after your taxes have been delinquent for more than one year. The details on foreclosure action can be found on Milwaukee County Treasurer Dorothy Dean’s web page:home.wri.rr.com/milwtreasurer/whatis2.html and if that address is too much to copy, just search for Dorothy Dean Milwaukee County Treasurer. If you are faced with foreclosure, Treasurer Dorothy Dean suggests you call her immediately to discuss the options that may be available. Dorothy is a Riverwest resident and her office offers assistance in solving tax foreclosure issues for any Milwaukee County property owner. You may contact her office by calling 414-278-4033 between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Elderly citizens may get into financial situations that threaten the loss of their homes. It is important to understand what choices elderly have that can help them to keep their homes. You may prioritize your needs and pay for the things that offer you security first. For instance, buy food, pay your utility bills or apply for assistance to pay your utilities, pay your mortgage and home insurance, pay your property taxes, pay your other unsecured debts (credit cards) last. If you live on Social Security and have a modest Milwaukee home, you cannot lose your home to a unsecured (credit card) creditor. To be sure that you are getting the benefits you are eligible for and to understand your legal standing on credit issues there are several organizations that can help the elderly. Property Tax Deferral Loan Program (PTDL) Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority (WHEDA) P. O. Box 1728 Madison WI 53701-1728 1-800-755-7835 If you are 65 or older and have limited income you may borrow up to $2,500 a year against your homes value to pay your property taxes. You do not have to make any payment on this loan as long as you own and live in your home. SeniorLAW 414-278-1222 SeniorLAW is a program which gives free benefits assistance to Milwaukee County residents 60 years or older. Benefits Specialists and attorneys provide representation in appropriate court cases. SeniorLAW can help you if you are having problems with your public benefits such as Medicare, Medical Assistance, Long Term Care, Social Security, SSI, Food Stamps, Subsidized Housing, or Homestead Credit. SeniorLAW is a program of Legal Action of Wisconsin, Inc. Legal Aid Society of Milwaukee Inc. A not-for-profit Wisconsin corporation 229 East Wisconsin Avenue – Suite 200 Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53202 414-765-0600 Contact the Legal Aid Society for advice if you have low income and are retired and have need of legal assistance related to debt issues and feel you may need to declare bankruptcy. SERVICES AVAILABLE FROM THE MILWAUKEE COUNTY DEPARTMENT ON AGING The Milwaukee County Department on Aging ‘Elderlink’ phone number can provide you with information about all of the services that are offered by the department. Some of these services area described below. You can call Elderlink 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Elderlink – 289-6874, TDD 289-8591 Coalition of Wisconsin Aging Groups (CWAG) Elder Law Center–General benefits help: 2850 Dairy Drive, Suite 100 Madison, WI 53718-6751 Phone (608) 224-0660 Fax (608) 224-0607 E-mail: Web: www.cwag.org Riverwest Currents – Volume 2 – Issue 1 – January 2003
by Vince Bushell