Update: Should Quicken Loans Take the Blame for Some Foreclosures and Blight?

July 01, 2015, 6:42 AM

Update -- Wednesday, 2:30 p.m.: Quicken Loans founder Dan Gilbert shot back at the Detroit News report today, calling the authors, Christine MacDonald and Joel Kurth, irresponsible.

"I thought these two were professionals. Clearly they're not," Gilbert said on WJR's Frank Beckmann show. 

Listen to the full interview.

Original article, earlier Wednesday

Life is complicated.

In the latest installment about foreclosures in the city of Detroit, Christine MacDonald and Joel Kurth write about Dan Gilbert, Quicken Loans, blight and foreclosure.

They note that Gilbert is playing a leading role in fighting blight. He's one of the leaders on Detroit's Blight Task Force.  At the same time, Quicken Loans has issued  mortgages for many homes that have ended up in foreclosure and have become blighted properties.

The News report states:

The Detroit business mogul co-chaired a taskforce convened by the Obama administration to tackle the problem and helped fund a survey last year that found nearly 40,000 structures need to be torn down. The data was the most extensive ever compiled and helped City Hall develop a strategy on where to demolish homes to save neighborhoods.

His company, Detroit-based Quicken Loans, meanwhile, had the fifth-highest number of mortgages that ended in foreclosure in Detroit over the last decade — and half of those properties are now blighted, The Detroit News found as a part of a project examining foreclosure's effect on the city.

The firms with more failed loans in the city were sister companies Argent Mortgage Co. and Ameriquest Mortgage Co.; Washington Mutual; New Century Mortgage Corp., and Countrywide Financial Corp., according to an analysis by The Detroit News. All except Quicken collapsed during the mortgage meltdown.

“It’s very hard to make any causation between these loans and the fact that (homeowners) walked away or could not afford the payments and some eventually became blighted," Gilbert told the News.

Read more:  The Detroit News

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