Four new foreclosure laws in Michigan to help keep people in their homes

Michigan’s four new foreclosure laws are aimed to prevent foreclosure, keep people in their homes, increase property tax revenues and prevent delinquent taxpayers from purchasing additional foreclosed properties.

Stop sign featuring the words

Stop sign featuring the words "Stop foreclosure now." Photo credit: Office.com

Governor Snyder recently signed four additional laws in Michigan to help prevent foreclosure and keep people in their homes. While there a large number of tax properties in Wayne County and Detroit which have received foreclosure notices, these laws are statewide.

The objectives of these laws are to help homeowners overcome hardships and meet their legal responsibilities, reduce the number of vacant properties, improve public safety, increase tax revenues for city and county government services, and prevent delinquent taxpayers from purchasing additional foreclosed properties. The bills are now Public Acts 499 to 502 of 2014, respectively.

House Bills 4882 and 5421 allow homeowners facing financial hardship to use a payment plan to meet tax responsibilities and avoid foreclosure. The foreclosing governmental unit will create the payment plan and agreed upon by the landowner. In other words, homeowners delinquent on their property taxes should be proactive and contact their county treasurer to request working out an agreeable repayment plan. Also, county treasurers are now able to waive additional monthly interest accrued once the payment plan is completed.

Senate Bill 295 requires people interested in bidding on foreclosed property to register with the government unit holding the property at least 14 days before a property sale. The requirement prevents bidders from purchasing homes and buildings if they are found to have outstanding tax payments, unpaid blight fines or a history of financial negligence.

House Bill 5398 allows a foreclosing governmental unit for a county (other than the State) to acquire property owned by the State, the Federal government, a land bank fast track authority, or another governmental entity, to facilitate the sale of tax reverted property.

Preventing foreclosures is a statewide concern. These laws give county treasurers the ability to work out repayment plans with tax delinquent homeowners and waive associated fees which add up over several years. Bidders must register and foreclosed properties can be sold quicker. My news articles on February 3, 2014 and August 6, 2014 described other changes to Michigan’s foreclosure laws became effective in 2014.

Many Michigan State University Extension offices have HUD-approved housing counselors who offer free housing counseling. Find one near you at MIMoneyHealth.org to call for an appointment in person, by phone or online. In other areas, find a HUD approved housing counselor.

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