ADOPTED - SEPTEMBER 27, 2005

Agenda Item No. 26

 

Introduced by the County Services and Finance Committees of the:††††††

 

INGHAM COUNTY BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE COUNTY TREASURER TO ENTER INTO A CONTRACT WITH MICHIGAN STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION TO OFFER FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT

EDUCATION FOR INGHAM COUNTY HOMEOWNERS SUBJECT TO FORECLOSURE

 

RESOLUTION #05-239

 

WHEREAS, in 2004 Ingham County chose to have the Treasurer become the Foreclosing Governmental Unit (FGU) for delinquent taxes; and

 

WHEREAS, extensive resources are devoted to maintaining the property rights of land owners; and

 

WHEREAS, efforts to teach financial management are a critical component of these loss prevention efforts; and

 

WHEREAS, Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) has the expertise, staff and a community network to assist with prevention as outlined in a concept paper (attachment 1); and

 

WHEREAS, new revenue generated by the tax foreclosure fees are sufficient to support this additional effort.

 

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the Ingham County Board of Commissioners authorizes the County Treasurer to enter into a contract with Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) for $23,300 that covers a program year from October 1, 2005 thru September 30, 2006.

 

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the County Treasurer is authorized to sign a contract with MSUE after review by the County Attorney.

 

COUNTY SERVICES:†††† Yeas:† Celentino, Copedge, De Leon, Schor, Severino, Vickers

†††† Nays:† None ††††Absent:† None††††††† Approved 9/20/05

 

FINANCE:† Yeas:† Dedden, Swope, Hertel, Schor, Thomas, Dougan

†† Nays:† None†††††††† Absent:† None ††††††Approved 9/21/05

 

 


Concept Paper Ė Financial Management for Lansing Homeowners

 

Situation: Ingham County has opted to participate in the management of the foreclosure process for tax delinquent properties in the County. Every year, approximately 9000 properties enter the foreclosure system, the first step of a multi-year process that may result in the owner losing the home to foreclosure. Currently, approximately 100 individuals have entered into an agreement with the Treasurerís office to forestall the process by making payments toward the back taxes owed.

 

The reasons that people find themselves in foreclosure are varied; divorce, job loss, hospitalization or chronic illness, economic conditions, or loss of a spouse. For some, foreclosure is inevitable and will occur regardless of intervention. For others, there is hope in the form of educational intervention.

 

Educational Intervention: This intervention will be offered as part of their agreement to participate in a payment plan with the Treasurerís office. ďAll My Money,Ē a curriculum developed by members of the Consumer and Family Economics Team at the University of Illinois Extension will be utilized.

 

Two different delivery methods will be used. The first will use a qualified para-professional educator who will deliver small group sessions. The second method will utilize one-on-one, in-home educational sessions built upon the home visitation model successfully used for MSUE nutrition and parenting instruction programs.

 

MSUE will build upon many years of successful programming to limited resource audience by employing effective promotion, recruitment, instructional strategies. In addition, MSUE staff will cultivate appropriate public and private referral agencies and services and will work to develop appropriate community partners such as lending organizations, credit counselors, legal aid and others.

The Curriculum: All My Money, is a financial management curriculum for persons working with limited-resource audiences and was adapted from the Washington State Cooperative Extension Service Program, Money Management Advisors. As with all University of Illinois Extension program materials, it is research-based. In particular, a needs assessment of social service organizations and community agencies guided selection of topics and method of delivery.

All My Money is a train-the-trainer curriculum for persons working with limited-resource audiences. The program is designed to assist staff and volunteers in community agencies and social service organizations who work directly with limited-resource clientele. There are eight lessons: (1) Making Spending Choices, (2) Envelope Budgeting, (3) Planning Your Spending, (4) Understanding Credit, (5) Handling Credit Problems, (6) Building Consumer Skills, (7) Taking Consumer Action, and (8) Checks and Checking Accounts.

Staffing: MSUE will employ one para-professional (Program Associate 1 or PA 1) for .5 FTE to perform the duties required for successful implementation of this program. The PA 1 will be responsible for developing and maintaining a caseload of program participants and developing a wait list protocol where appropriate. These tasks also include program promotion, participant recruitment, small group instruction and one-on-one, home-based instruction to individuals who prefer that model, due to concerns of privacy or inability to meet the time requirement of the small group classes, due to work hours or need for child care. For the period October 1, 2005 through September 30, 2006, the amount paid to MSUE from the Treasurerís Office is estimated to be $23,300 (salary, fringe, supplies and travel, see Attachment A.) A memorandum of agreement will be executed between Ingham County and MSUE to formalize the transfer of funds to support this position.

In-Kind Staffing: MSUE will provide the following in-kind services: Supervision of the PA 1 will be provided by the Family and Consumer Sciences Educator, a professional staff person who is already providing oversight to MSUEís food and nutrition programs. She will also assist the PA 1 in the development of a referral and partner network. Also, MSUE will provide another Program Assistant 1, up to a .5 FTE, to provide the program using the home-based, in-home program model to food stamp eligible individuals. Other MSUE staff, particularly those providing one-on-one, home-based instruction, will provide information and encouragement to eligible homeowners to contact the Treasurerís Office to set up payment plan arrangements. Also, MSUE staff will work with Neighborhood Network Center staff and boards of directors to promote and assist increased participation in payment plan arrangements.

Audience: Homeowners in Ingham County who have voluntarily entered into an agreement with the Treasurerís Office to make payments on back taxes owed.

Continuum of Process:

1.      Homeowner enters foreclosure process

2.      Homeowner voluntarily agrees to participate in a payment plan to pay back taxes owed

3.      Homeowner voluntarily participates in educational intervention delivered by MSUE

4.      Homeowners who successfully complete all eight curriculum modules may be eligible to receive a three-hour credit counseling session by a provider approved by the Treasurerís Office (cost of session will be paid by the Treasurerís Office).

Program Outcomes:

1.      Homeowners will develop skills needed to change their behaviors related to money management.

2.      Homeowners will successfully complete the terms of their payment plan agreement with the Treasurerís Office.

3.      A reduction in foreclosures will occur for homeowners who agree to a payment plan to repay back taxes.

4.      The number of homeowners who default on their payment plans will be reduced.

5.      The number of owner-occupied homes will stabilize or increase.

6.      The number of homeowners who participate in a payment plan to repay back taxes will increase.

 

Attachment A.

Program Budget

Salary†††††††† .45 FTE Program Associate 1†††††††††††††† $9,900

Fringe†††††††† .45 of fringe load††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† $7,400

Supplies & Materials

(paper, copies, postage, office supplies)††††††††††† $2,500

Travel (50 miles/week x 50 weeks)†††††††††††† $2,500

 

††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† TOTAL††††††††††††††††† $23.300