Thursday, August 30, 2012

VA Not Making the Grade

James G. Fausone
Veteran Disability Lawyer

An annual survey of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ services was circulated to veterans by Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC.  The direct e-mail and social media survey went to hundreds of veterans involved with the VA disability claim process around the country.

Veterans with disability claims were asked to grade VA’s handling of their disability claim.  VA did not make the grade – 51% gave VA a D grade.  Only 6.1% gave VA an A or B grade.

The survey found that nearly half, 47.9%, felt that VA should take less than 6 months to decide a disability claim.  Deciding a claim in 6-11 months was supported by 28.1% of respondents and 16.7% thought the end of the year would be an acceptable time period.  Only 7.3% of the veterans felt a claim should take more than a year.

The vast majority, 73%, of the survey respondents had been waiting over one year.  In fact, 42% had a VA experience that took over 3 years.

The customer service problems from long delays, misplaced records, asking for the same information again, and scheduling repeated exams are all well documented.  This survey asks the customers – the veterans – to rate VA.  The response is a failing grade by 75% of the respondents.

Legal Help for Veterans, PLLC is a national firm representing veterans before the VA since 1998 and has helped thousands of veterans obtain over a million in veteran disability compensation benefits.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Veteran Education

James G. Fausone
Veteran Disability Lawyer

As a Schoolcraft College Trustee, I receive the magazine Trustee Quarterly.   The following article from the Summer 2012 issue is from VA Secretary Shinseki’s speech to a College Trustee Convention this summer.  It’s worth reading this short passage:

A Call To Action

Community colleges can also serve as catalysts for another dramatic change in the fabric of the nation — that of military veterans returning to the homefront and the workforce. U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki urged community college leaders to support the 950,000 veterans and family members currently enrolled in higher education programs, more than one-third of whom attend community colleges. "This is an important moment in our nation's history," he said. "The education opportunities available to veterans can make a huge difference — certainly in their lives, but also the future of our nation."

"I want to ask more of you," the retired Army general said, urging community college leaders to provide meeting spaces and other services that would allow veterans to support each other as they adjust to their post-military lives. "Embrace our veteran students, and encourage them to organize themselves."

"There is a transition. They can help each other," Shinseki said. "Have them seize the collective responsibility of graduating each other."

In its third year, the current GI Bill is the largest since the original bill created at the end of World War II, according to Shinseki. It has been expanded to include nondegree programs, and one-third of all beneficiaries are attending community colleges. Shinseki credited institutions like Lansing Community College in Michigan, which offers a military medic program that provides a fast-track to becoming paramedics or nurses, and Ohio's Cuyahoga Community College, which opened a distance learning lab at a VA hospital.

"Given a chance, veterans will prevail as your best students," Shinseki told attendees. "[They] have what it takes to succeed not just in the military, but in school and in whatever endeavor they choose."

Friday, August 24, 2012

Rouge River Clean Up

By Matthew Worley

While not part of his regular duties, Wayne City Attorney Paul Bohn grabbed his chainsaw and went to work.  Together with Matt Mulholland, City of Wayne HR Director, the two worked alongside volunteer Wayne residents to remove log jams in the Rouge River.

The City is also removing the dam underneath Wayne Road at the River, made possible by a $1 million grant from the Federal Government.  This project will remove the outdated impediment and improve the river for fish and other aquatic life. 

Once the dam is removed and the log jams cleared, the river will be more accessible for canoeists.  Presently, those canoeing this stretch of the Rouge have to exit the river and make a dangerous portage across Wayne Road to get around the dam.  The goal is to clear the river all the way from Hannan Road downstream to Merriman Road by the time the dam removal is completed this fall.  After the work is done, this will be a prime recreational location right in our own backyards.

Paul Bohn, an avid outdoor enthusiast, is also a partner at Fausone Bohn, LLP.  He encourages residents to come out and help clear the river and restore it to its natural beauty.

To learn more, please see the August edition of the Wayne Dispatch, available online at:

City Attorneys Send First Step to the Circus

By Matthew Worley

Thanks to Fausone Bohn, LLP, the City Attorneys for the City of Wayne, and the suggestion of two Assistant City Prosecutors, Melissa Cox and Breeda O’Leary-Holder, all residents of First Step were able to attend the Kelly Circus in Wayne on August 11, 2012.

First Step’s mission is to reduce the incidence of domestic and sexual violence and to provide services to individuals affected by these crimes.  Its ultimate goal is the prevention of these crimes through education, advocacy, and appropriate intervention.

Fausone Bohn, LLP has been a long-time supporter of First Step.  The firm, in lieu of sending Christmas cards, has given its annual gift to First Step.  “First Step does so much for the City of Wayne and its residents, we thought we needed to do something to show our support,” said Paul Bohn, City Attorney and Partner of Fausone Bohn, LLP.

Fausone Bohn, LLP is committed to supporting the work of organizations like First Step that tirelessly strive to improve our communities.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Medicare Fraud Max Sentence

By Matthew Worley

64 year-old George Dalyn Houser of Georgia was sentenced in Federal Court to 20 years in prison for Medicare fraud.  Houser and his wife operated three nursing homes and used them to fraudulently bill Medicare and Medicaid for “worthless services.”

Houser will serve his 20-year sentence followed by 3 years of supervised release.  He will also have to pay $6,742,808 in restitution to the Medicare and Medicaid programs.  Additionally, he must pay $872,515 in restitution to the IRS for failing to pay payroll taxes and personal income taxes.

Houser bought real estate, luxury vehicles, vacations, and planned to build a hotel – all while the residents in his nursing homes allegedly starved and lived in unacceptable conditions.

The nursing homes allegedly suffered from food shortages bordering on starvation, leaking roofs, no nursing or housekeeping supplies, poor sanitary conditions, major staff shortages, and safety concerns.

“Senior citizens in nursing homes are some of our most vulnerable citizens.  Houser stole millions in taxpayer dollars while the residents entrusted to his care went without food or medicine.  Now he’ll spend 20 years in prison,” said US Attorney Sally Quillan Yates.

The Office of the Inspector General is committed to aggressively investigating and prosecuting these taxpayer-funded, worthless service cases.

Medicare and Medicaid fraud are serious offenses and those that commit them face harsh prosecutions and severe penalties or jail time.  Having quality legal advice is imperative when defending such allegations.

The experienced fraud team at Fausone Bohn, LLP – Mark Mandell, Tariq Hafeez, and Breeda O’Leary – can provide a top-notch legal defense for those involved in a government investigation or prosecution.  The team can also provide counsel for “whistleblowers” looking to expose the fraud of their employers (or ex-employers).  Whistleblowers may be eligible to receive money from a settlement or verdict and this knowledgeable team has the expertise to obtain these positive results.

To learn more or read the original article, please visit:

Friday, August 17, 2012

Is the Cure for Veteran Unemployment Just a Viral Video Away?

By Kristina Derro
Veterans Disability Lawyer

It can be difficult for military veterans to find a job even in good economy.  In a down economy, finding a job is even tougher.  For vets returning home from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, the unemployment rate is at more than 12%, which is roughly 4% higher than the national average for all workers.  And in some areas, the number is actually much higher.  In New York, for example, the unemployment rate for Afghanistan and Iraq veterans is currently at 16.7%.  And, for younger veterans, those between the ages of 18 and 24, the future seems grim as they face nearly 30% unemployment.

The numbers don’t lie.  More than 234,000 new veterans are now looking for civilian work.

“The idea that our service members could go from the front lines to the unemployment lines is unacceptable”, stated Armed Services Committee Chairman Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA), during a joint hearing of the House Armed Services and House Veterans Affairs committees this past July.  Various administrations are in place to help vets find gainful employment, including the Transition Assistance Program and the VOW to Hire Heroes Act.  But results have been mixed.

Now, an IT training and certification company, Training Camp, is attempting a viral cure for veteran unemployment.  They are currently hosting a viral video contest, featuring unemployed veterans, illustrating why veterans make good hires in the civilian world.  Vet video makers are encouraged to make short videos that are “funny, silly, heartwarming or witty”, according to a spokesperson from Training Camp, to highlight why employers should hire vets.

The contest launched in July and runs through the end of September 2012.  So far, Training Camp says they have 300 contenders for best video; for each video that is submitted, Training Camp donates $25 to the Wounded Warrior Project, an organization working to raise awareness and support for wounded service members.  The first round of videos will be aired for public voting in mid-September, after which a judging panel will choose winners and distribute the $100,000 prize pool.

Is this a valid approach for vets to reach out, and will it land anyone an actual job?  It’s too soon to say.  According to, Training Camp approached the U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs to coordinate together, but the VA has so far declined to jump on board.

The U.S. Department of Defense routinely spends multiple millions of dollars to train our armed forces to “nation-build” overseas, and those skills can be transferable to the private sector.  It’s yet to be seen if we will continue to waste our investment of time, money and people power, and allow our veterans to be lost in the transition from Over There to back home.

A Detroit News Editorial Support Mayor Lamarand's Stand on Fiscal Responsibility

By Matthew Worley

Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand chose not to accept grant money to re-hire laid off firefighters from the Federal Government because of the additional unreimbursed costs the City could not afford.  City Council, however, forced him to accept the grant that the City couldn’t afford.

The blame, according to columnist Nolan Finley, rests on the City Council actively supporting the Firefighter’s Union instead of concentrating on the goal of a responsible government.

The Federal government shares the blame as well, says Finley.  The country is running at a deficit and the current administration says raising taxes is the only way to balance the budget.  And yet, FEMA – a federal agency charged with handling disaster relief – has $8.1 million to force on a City to pay for surplus firefighters it does not need or can afford.

The grant money is going to run out in two years – at which point Taylor will have firefighters it won’t be able to pay – and the layoffs will have to commence yet again.  City Council is simply kicking the can two years down the road.

Chris Frescoln, partner in charge of complex litigation at Fausone Bohn, LLP, is representing the Mayor.

To read the original column, please visit:

Military Funeral Protection

Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone (Ret.)
Veteran Advocate

On Monday, President Barack Obama signed the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act into law.  This law provides a wide-ranging package of benefits to military personnel.

Included in the law are new restrictions on protesting at military funerals.  Under the legislation, protests cannot be held within 300 feet of military funerals.  Additionally, such protests are prohibited two hours before and two hours after a service. 

Any person who violates the law is subject to fines up to $50,000 and imprisonment up to one year.  Members of the deceased person’s family may also sue the offenders to recover for any damages resulting from such conduct.
This new law will have a strong effect on the protest activities of the Westboro Baptist Church, based in Kansas.  Westboro is known for its disrespectful and hateful protests of military funerals.  Many have labeled the Westboro Baptist Church a hate group.

This law counters a 2011 Supreme Court ruling that held such protests are protected speech under the First Amendment.

During a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, President Obama said “we have a moral sacred duty to our men and women in uniform, the graves of our veterans are hallowed grounds.”  With this law in place, families will now be able to mourn their loss in peace and these brave soldiers will get the respectful burials they deserve.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Mayor Lamarand Accepts SAFER Grant After Getting Fireman's Union Concessions

By Matthew Worley

City of Taylor Mayor Jeffrey Lamarand has accepted the $8.1 million federal SAFER grant to hire back 32 laid-off city firefighters.

Mayor Lamarand chose to accept the grant after negotiating a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the firefighter's union that requires the firefighters to cash out their unused vacation and sick time during the two-year grant period.  This will enable the grant to cover all those costs that would otherwise have been borne by the City. 

Mayor Lamarand had originally objected to the SAFER grant because these costs, estimated at approximately $1,200,000, would have to come out of the City’s general fund, which the City did not have the resources to pay.  The MOU reached last week with the firefighter's union removes this unfunded liability from the City’s general fund.

Chris Frescoln, partner in charge of complex litigation at Fausone Bohn, LLP, is representing the Mayor.

To learn more or read the original article, please visit:

U.S. Military Receiving Updated Blast Sensors for Head Injuries

Kristina Derro
Veteran Disability Lawyer

The U.S. Army is currently awaiting the delivery of 1,000 blast sensor packs to help specialists assess how soldiers are affected during and after exposure to explosions. The packs, called Soldier Body Units (SBU), consist of four sensors: the sensors collect data from the head and chest areas when soldiers are exposed to explosions to help determine if the blast could - or did - lead to a concussion or traumatic brain injury.

The SBU, which is worn like a small backpack, weighs a mere two pounds, and is always recording information, collecting data as part of a larger system, the Integrated Blast Effects Sensor Suite (I-BESS), which included sensors that are placed in vehicles for a wider range of blast environment assessment. Previous blast gauge systems recorded data only when sensing "overpressure."

The sensors were developed in a joint project between the Georgia Tech Research Institute and the U.S. Army's Rapid Equipping Force (REF). The goal is to have the new sensor system in place in time to deploy them with troops in Afghanistan before their scheduled withdraw in 2014. The data collected will then be processed by the Joint Trauma Analysis and Prevention of Injury in Combat, and the information examined by medical professionals to help assess when soldiers have had undetected head injuries.

Currently, the sensors cost approximately $2,500 each to produce - a steep climb from just $75 per unit to manufacture the old blast gauges, but the hope is that the cost will drop as SBUs are mass produced and the design is streamlined. The Army also is working to install floor-and seat-mounted accelerometers in more than 40 vehicles, to measure blast impact on soldiers who are inside vehicles when hit by improvised explosive devices. Engineers plan to install I-BESS sensors into vehicles currently in Afghanistan, rather than ship new vehicles there.

Monday, August 13, 2012

President Signs Camp Lejeune Bill

Veteran Disability Lawyer
Camp Lejeune is a Marine base in North Carolina.  From 1957 to 1987, Marines and their families were exposed to contaminated ground water.  Health officials believe as many as 1 million people may have been exposed to the tainted groundwater at Camp Lejeune over the thirty years.

Last Monday, President Barack Obama signed into law the Honoring America’s Veterans and Caring for Camp Lejeune Families Act.  The bill passed with bipartisan support.

The new law provides hospital care and medical services to Marines and their families who were stationed at the base for 30 days or more.  The covered illnesses include multiple types of cancer, leukemia, female infertility, miscarriage, and others.  The law provides this care to Marines and their families even if it can’t be shown that they actually resulted from exposure at Camp Lejeune. 

At a signing ceremony in the Oval Office, President Obama said that these men and women “protect our freedom, and it’s our obligation to do right by them.  This bill takes another important step in fulfilling that commitment.” 

Sadly, this law won’t bring back those we’ve already lost, but it will honor their memory by making a real difference for those who are still suffering. 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Mayor of Taylor to be Jailed?

By Matthew Worley

The dispute between the City of Taylor Mayor and City Council over federal grant money continues.

Last month, a Wayne County Judge ordered Mayor Jeff Lamarand to accept $8.1 million in federal grant money to hire back 32 Taylor firefighters that have been laid off.  The Mayor has refused to accept the federal money because of additional costs in excess of $1 million not covered by the grant.  When the grant money runs out in two years, the mayor believes the City will be in a worse position.

Acceptance of the grant requires certification by the Mayor that the City can afford the costs not covered by the grant.  Mayor Lamarand does not believe he can truthfully make this certification.

On Monday, Mayor Lamarand was required to attend a show cause hearing in Wayne County Circuit Court.  He was ordered to accept the grant within 24 hours or face contempt proceedings. 

If Mayor Lamarand does not comply with the court order and accept the grant money, he may be found in contempt and jailed.  Chris Frescoln, partner in charge of complex litigation at Fausone Bohn, LLP, is defending the Mayor.

Late last night, the Mayor indicated that with the express understanding that a Memorandum of Understanding is passed by the Firefighter’s Union addressing these additional costs, the Mayor will accept the grant.

The contempt hearing is scheduled for Friday, August 10 at 1:00 p.m.

To learn more or read the original article, please visit:

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Detroit Water and Sewerage Department Announcement

Matthew Worley

Our own Jim Fausone, Chair of the Detroit Water and Sewerage Department’s Board of Water Commissioners, took part in an important announcement yesterday.  The Department is making some bold changes – changes that are expected to result in annual savings of $149 million.

Mayor Dave Bing, Director Sue McCormick, and the Board proposed a broad restructuring of the department.  This includes the elimination of about 1,600 of its 1,978 jobs over the next five years.  The plan also provides for job redesign, outsourcing, technology improvements, and new training.

Part of the inefficiency now is that department employees have inflexible and narrow job descriptions.  The new plan increases efficiency by cross-training employees to perform multiple functions. 

Presently, the department anticipates annual rate increases for its customers to be around 8%.  After putting this plan in to place, that number is expected to decrease substantially.  In other words, these measures will limit the annual increases in water rates for everyone.

As expected, there is some resistance from the local 207 union of State, County, and Municipal Employees who oppose the plan because of the jobs that will be eliminated.

To learn more or see the original article, please visit:

Veterans With ALS

Kristina Derro
Veterans Disability Lawyer

Veterans may be at a higher risk of developing ALS, also known as Lou Gherig’s disease.

Several studies have found a possible link between the disease and military service.  Because of these findings, in 2008 the Department of Veteran Affairs began setting aside benefits specifically for veterans who developed the disease.

The results of these studies were mixed.  Several suggested an increased incidence of the disease in veterans who served as far back as 1910.  Another study concluded that veterans are 50% more likely to develop ALS than the general population.

The benefits provided to these veterans vary based on service time and other factors, but ALS is now presumed to be a disease compensable by VA.  Veterans diagnosed with ALS are eligible for disability pay as well as money to modify their homes, vehicles to transport them, insurance for dependents, and survivors’ benefits.

However, none of the above studies have been able to find a common element among veterans with ALS.  One study found increased levels of lead in the blood, but it is unclear if that was significant.  Another found that ALS might be linked to head trauma, pesticides, or burning oil fields – but the findings weren’t conclusive.

For now, all that is certain is the link between ALS and military service is complicated, and there are probably a lot of factors at play.

To learn more or to see the original article, please visit:

TBI Ages Brain

James G. Fausone
Veterans Disability Lawyer

Modern science is finding out traumatic brain injuries may age the brain faster.

Many of the veterans returning home from the war have been diagnosed with traumatic brain injury, as a result of being exposed to concussive shock waves from IEDs.  Like football players, and other athletes that sustain multiple concussions, war veterans are at risk of facing long-term cognitive difficulties as a result of being in combat.

University of Michigan researchers are finding differences in electrical activity in the brains of college students who had suffered concussions prior to the testing.  Their control group had not sustained head injuries.  Along with the differences in electric activity, researches also found a change in balance and gait.  The interesting thing is that the research team was still able to identify differences for up to six years after a concussion, or concussions, had occurred.

The observed changes were subtle, meaning the study participants did not look or act differently, yet the changes were still detectable.  However, this does not mean the individuals had Alzheimer's or would suffer from early onset dementia, just that the changes were a possible portent of things to come later in life.  The results of this study are still being correlated, but are exciting, as earlier detection of brain anomalies would help veterans returning from overseas.

The researchers also suggest their findings are predicated on a "dose dependent response".  The more head injuries a person sustains over their lifetime, the higher their risk of aging the brain faster, along with the slow disintegration of the brain's signaling pathways.  For those who had a few minor head impacts and one diagnosed concussion, the risks may be low.  If you play football or hockey, or have done several tours of duty in the war in Iraq or Afghanistan, your risks are infinitely higher, with the cumulative effect of multiple concussions taking a toll on the brain.

Mild concussions may manifest symptoms such as fatigue, dizziness and difficulty concentrating, for up to a year in children.  No one is absolutely certain how long the effects of mild concussion will last in adults.  The real question is how to effectively identify traumatic brain injury in athletes and military personnel, and from there, determine how they may be treated.  If electrical abnormalities are a precursor to more significant damage if brain trauma is repetitive, and those changes may be caught at an early stage to commence treatment, this can only bode well for veterans.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Service Dog Approval

Brigadier General Carol Ann Fausone (Ret)

The VA may soon be required to open all of its facilities up to service dogs that accompany veterans.  But not all service dogs are created equal.

The bill in question, HR 1627, requires that VA facilities give access to service dogs, but only if those dogs have been trained and accredited.

The problem is that many veterans currently use service dogs that do not have the required training or accreditation.  Veterans that have been going to VA for years may no longer be allowed to enter the facilities if their dog does not meet the requirements. 

Under the current rules, only seeing-eye dogs are guaranteed access.  Access of other service dogs, such as those that accompany vets suffering from PTSD, is governed by local rules and inconsistently applied.

According to VA officials, the concern is that it is relatively easy to obtain a vest and bogus ID for a dog showing it is “registered.”  There have even been reports of supposedly trained service dogs trying to attack people in VA facilities.  These are the types of dogs the VA is trying to prevent from entering its facilities.

Christina Roof, a veterans’ advocate, said she believes a law allowing access to veterans’ facilities for all manner of service dogs is a step in the right direction.  These disabled veterans deserve the same access to VA care and facilities as do blind veterans using guide dogs.

As a board member at service dog trainer Stiggy’s Dogs, and having worked with dozens of veterans with service dogs, I know there are plenty of well-trained service dogs helping our veterans.  We should not create barriers for taking these therapeutic animals into VA facilities.

The bill was passed in the Senate and now moves to the House.

To learn more or to see the original article, please visit:

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Busted! Another Medicare Crook Gets Taken Down

By Matthew Worley

27 year old Alejandro Haber was busy running a Detroit-area health clinic.  But that’s not all he was running.

Haber was also running a multi-million dollar Medicare fraud scheme.

Haber conceived and oversaw his fraud schemes at a clinic he operated called Ritecare, LLC.  Along with his co-conspirators, he obtained patients by paying illegal kickbacks to recruiters and directly to Medicare recipients. 

Haber instructed these patients to feign certain symptoms.  These fake symptoms were used to create false and fraudulent medical records.  The conspirators then billed Medicare for medically unnecessary services such as expensive nerve conduction studies.

From 2007 to 2009, Haber submitted approximately $7.42 million in fraudulent claims through Ritecare to the Medicare program for reimbursement.  Out of this amount, Medicare actually paid $5.33 million to Ritecare.

Haber has since pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud.  He was sentenced to serve 40 months in federal prison followed by three years of supervised release.  Additionally, he must pay restitution of $5,333,906 – the amount he fraudulently received.  $99,000 has already been seized from his bank accounts – although this hardly makes a dent in the amount he owes.

Medicare fraud must run in the family – Alejandro’s father was also sentenced in July to 60 months in prison for his role in an $8.5 million Medicare fraud scheme.

To learn more or to read the original press release, please visit:

Foreclosure Help

Tariq Hafeez, Esq.

Michigan legislative leaders recently passed legislation to strengthen Michigan's economy and bring relief to countless Michigan residents struggling with foreclosure.  The Michigan Legislature passed HB 5015 that would divvy up $97.2 million to create a Homeowner Protection Fund to assist those affected by the national foreclosure crisis.

The funds are coming from the state’s share of a national settlement with five leading mortgage servicers that were accused of shady foreclosure processes and servicing.
According to the Attorney General’s office, the money is being used to advance the following eight initiatives:

Assistance for Veterans – $5 million.  The men and women who served our country also have been affected by poor mortgage servicing and foreclosure practices.  These funds will provide targeted relief for military service members unable to qualify for existing programs.

Grants to Help Homeowners Refinance – $5 million.  These funds will allow The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) to provide grants to help pay the closing costs of citizens who utilize the Homeless Assistance Recovery Program (HARP).  Eligible citizens will receive assistance paying closing costs associated with refinancing their home.

Assistance to Homebuyers – $15 million.  These funds will assist both service members and non-service members by providing grants to offset the purchase price of a home.  Service members may be eligible for grants up to $5,000 and non-service members up to $3,000. 

Foreclosure Rescue Scam Victim Restitution--$7.5 million.  These funds will help Michigan residents who have been targeted by foreclosure rescue scam artists with restitution payments of up to $3,000 per victim of a restitution scam.

Blight Elimination – $25 million.  These funds will be dedicated to blight elimination efforts throughout Michigan.  Given that blighted property contributes to an environment conducive to crime, targeting blight elimination in these areas will further efforts to reduce crime.

Foreclosure Counseling for Homeowners – $20 million.  The Michigan State Housing and Development Authority (MSHDA) and Michigan State University Extension Offices will use these funds to expand their much-needed, free homeowner counseling services for citizens seeking to avoid foreclosure.

Housing and Community Development Programs – $3.7 million.  These funds will be allocated to the Michigan Housing and Community Development Fund which develops and coordinates public and private resources to meet the affordable housing needs of low income households and revitalizing downtown areas and neighborhoods in Michigan.

Education Achievement Authority – $10 million.  These funds will be used by the Education Achievement Authority (EAA) to help improve performance of Michigan’s lowest performing schools. 

If you have any questions relating to foreclosure or are in need of assistance, contact Tariq Hafeez at (248) 380-0000.