Berrien County Treasurer to hold regular Tuesday office hours in Niles

Berrien County Treasurer Bret Witkowski will be in Niles on a weekly basis to help people avoid foreclosure by offering tax payment plans, while providing other normal treasurer’s office services to residents.

Beginning today, Witkowski said he would hold office hours from 9 a.m. to noon each Tuesday inside the South Berrien County Court House at 1205 N. Front St. in Niles.

Witkowski said the goal is to increase accessibility to treasurer’s office services for residents in Niles and Buchanan.

The main office is in St. Joseph — about a half an hour drive northwest of Niles.

“I think offering a place where residents of south county don’t have to take a half day of their time to come meet with me hopefully will help out on time on their end,” he said. “I also have noticed a great deal more senior citizens in trouble who have difficulties coming to St. Joseph.”

Witkowski said his goal is to make the weekly Tuesday office hours in Niles permanent.

The Niles office will offer all treasurer’s office services except dog licenses.

Since the start of the recession, Witkowski said the number of Berrien County properties facing foreclosure for nonpayment of taxes has increased by 400 percent.

The Berrien County Treasurer’s Office offers payment plans to help property owners avoid foreclosure.

As of today, Witkowski said there are approximately 500 property owners in the county making monthly payments in an effort to avoid foreclosure.

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