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Buyer snaps up 645 properties

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, August 8, 2012
Posted: 5 pm ET

One county in Michigan auctioned 645 tax-foreclosed properties at once to a single buyer for the bargain price of $4.9 million. Former yacht dealer Bill McMachen snapped up the entire lot of properties, including 403 homes, and agreed to pay all the back taxes, averaging $7,500 on each tax-foreclosed property.

The county bundled its unwanted, tax-foreclosed properties in with good properties to entice a buyer, leading some other potential bidders who attended the auction to cry foul. The county treasurer told the local news affiliate that his job is to collect back taxes and that he is unconcerned that some investors weren't able to purchase the more desirable foreclosed properties individually, even at a higher price, while leaving the county with the unwanted properties.

Michigan, and in particular Detroit, has been hit hard by the recession. Macomb County, a suburban area just north of Detroit, had more than 7,000 new foreclosures in June, according to RealtyTrac. McMachen says he plans to sell it all and fix up the dilapidated properties, eventually earning a profit of $2 million.

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