Howard Franklin, 72, and Catherine Franklin, 37, were shot and killed Friday while trying to remove occupants from a home purchased in a Wayne County's September tax foreclosure auction. Detroit resident Alonzo D. Long Jr., 22, was charged Monday with two counts of first degree murder in the shootings.
According to the Detroit Free Press,
Long did not live at the property, but was helping relatives move out when the Franklins arrived and a heated argument ensued. Although many view the encounter as rare, similar clashes could occur in the near future as tax foreclosure auctions increase in the Detroit area.
This year the city has experienced 22,000 foreclosures on properties where the owner failed to pay property taxes for three consecutive years. Out of this year’s foreclosed properties, about half are estimated to still be occupied.
Additionally, in the next few months, Wayne County will serve more than 75,000 foreclosure notices, 62,000 of which are located in Detroit. Half of these are estimated to be occupied, according to The Atlantic.
To start the eviction process, a tenant first is served with a 30-day eviction notice, known as a "notice to quit." If the tenant doesn't leave after 30 days, a property owner can file a lawsuit, which could result in court officers carrying out the eviction, according to the Detroit Free Press.
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A father and daughter were fatally shot in Detroit over the holiday weekend while trying to take possession of a home they purchased through a tax foreclosure auction. The confrontation is raising concerns about the process of evicting tenants of homes lost to foreclosure.