Senate approves Johnson bill to help prevent foreclosures

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Thursday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sen. Ruth Johnson that would help to prevent foreclosures on Michigan homeowners.

“This legislation is designed to protect our most vulnerable citizens from a property tax foreclosure process that can be confusing and counterproductive,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “Our local government policies should help keep people out of foreclosure when possible. Certainly, no one should lose their home if they make a payment for the most recent property tax bill if that payment would be enough to stop a property tax foreclosure due to an underpayment on a previous bill.”

Johnson sponsored Senate Bill 809, which would allow a local foreclosing governmental unit to withhold a property from foreclosure if an amount is paid to the local tax collecting unit for current taxes instead of payment of delinquent taxes and amount paid was equal to or greater than the amount necessary to redeem the property.

SB 808, sponsored by Sen. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, would provide additional awareness of the tax foreclosure process to delinquent property owners. It would require that, throughout the notification of the foreclosure process to the property owner, a statement warning must be included that informs the owner that a delinquent payment submitted to the local tax collecting unit — rather than the county treasurer — cannot be applied to the delinquent amount and will not prevent foreclosure.

SBs 808 and 809 now head to the Michigan House for consideration.

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Senator Ruth Johnson