ROYAL OAK – In an effort to help more Oakland County families keep their homes, State Representative Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) is inviting residents to attend an informational town hall meeting about foreclosure on Wednesday, Feb. 23, in Royal Oak.

“Michigan families have been hit harder than anyone else during these tough economic times and we must do everything we can to help people hold on to their homes,” Townsend said. “Homeowners make up the fabric of our community and they will be crucial to revitalizing our neighborhoods and our state. I hope residents who need assistance or have questions come to this event.”

The town hall will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the auditorium of the Royal Oak Public Library, 222 E. Eleven Mile Road. Townsend will be joined at the town hall by Eric Dusenbury of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), Greg Sterns of Lighthouse of Oakland County and Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner. Personal foreclosure counselors from Lighthouse will be available to meet with individual homeowners at the event. Lighthouse has been providing services to low-income families in Oakland County since 1972.

Foreclosure filings in Michigan rose 15 percent in 2010 compared to 2009, and Michigan tallied the 7th highest rate in the nation with 135,874 homes in some stage of foreclosure. Of those foreclosures, 20,445 were in Oakland County – or one in every 26 homes. In December alone, one in every 282 homes in Michigan received a foreclosure filing, nearly two times the national average.

“No community in Michigan is immune to the foreclosure crisis we’re experiencing,” Townsend said. “While facing foreclosure can be an emotional experience, one of the keys to avoiding foreclosure is to act quickly if you know you’re in trouble. I encourage anyone who thinks they could be in danger of losing their home to attend my town hall meeting or contact me if they can’t make it and need help.”

For more information, residents of Madison Heights and Royal Oak are encouraged to contact Townsend toll-free at (866) 585-2471 or by e-mail at