The ROOF (Retaining Occupancy on Foreclosure) Agreement, a program designed to reduce vacant homes in Detroit, Michigan, was introduced to several large servicers and lenders in November. ROOF was created by the Detroit Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Response (DOOFPR) and Potestivo & Associates, a legal service provider to the default servicing industry. ROOF allows the previous owners of a property to stay in the home for up to three months after foreclosure. The ultimate goal of program is to reduce foreclosures in a city plagued by blight and unoccupied foreclosures. If the program succeeds, values of Detroit homes will stabilize. The occupant must pay all utilities, heat, water and electricity, and a monthly fee will be instituted on a “sliding scale” based on how much the owner can pay. At the end of the three-month term, if the property has not sold, options to renew would be available. Steve Bancroft, the executive director at the Detroit Office of Foreclosure Prevention and Response told HousingWire in an exclusive interview for an upcoming issue that two lenders are currently participating in the initial stages of the program. He could not disclose which ones, but he did say that they were two of the top lenders in the market. “Right now we’re going to be trying it as a pilot,” Bancroft said. “We’re going to try it for a little while, not sure how long, and see how it works.” Bancroft recently spoke at Safeguard’s Nationa Property Preservation Conference in Washington DC. There, he revealed that brokers selling vacant real estate owned (REO) property could expect to get an average of $8,000 in Detroit for the home. Occupied, the amount jumped to $80,000 for a foreclosed property. Write to Jon Prior.
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