Effective January 11, 2020, Michigan will be facing new regulation in regards to notices of foreclosure. Public Act 142 of 2019, formerly titled House Bill 4306, was signed by Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer.
The new language requires, among other things, the street address of the property, and the name, address, and telephone number of the attorney for the foreclosing party.
Residential mortgages also require the statemt: “If you are a military service member on active duty, if your period of active duty has concluded less than 90 days ago, or if you have been ordered to active duty, please contact the attorney for the party foreclosing the mortgage at the telephone number stated in this notice."
Jeff Weisserman, Managing Partner and General Counsel, Trott Law, P.C. notes that the new rule also requires a statement indicating the time and place of the sale; advising that the amount due on the mortgage might be greater on the day of the sale and that placing the highest bid does not automatically convey free and clear ownership.
"This statement also encourages a potential purchaser to contact the county register of deeds or a title insurance company, either of which might charge a fee, for further information," Weisserman said.
Many of the state's forclosures are tax foreclosures. According to Bridge Magazine, county tax foreclosure is a common practice in Michigan, and counties have foreclosed on over 177,000 properties in the state since 2012. Oakland County, the state’s second largest in population, foreclosed on over 5,500 properties between 2012 and 2017 according to state records, but 65% of county foreclosures took place in Wayne County (Detroit).
A study from Quicken Loans revealed that as of 2018, 21% of Michigan homeowners were unaware their property was behind on property taxes, and another 61% of renters in tax-delinquent properties were unaware of the home’s tax status. However, property tax foreclosures in Detroit are at a 14-year low. In 2018, 2,920 properties faced property tax foreclosure auction, down from 6,052 in 2017, and far below the peak of 15,000 in 2015.