The Michigan Supreme Court in the new year will decide whether counties can continue to hit the jackpot when foreclosing on properties.
Counties routinely sell real estate when taxes are long overdue. State law allows them to pocket everything — even if the sales price exceeds the amount of debt. The Supreme Court has agreed to consider whether it adds up to an illegal government taking under the Michigan and U.S. constitutions.
The result will affect thousands of people who have lost or will lose property in tax foreclosures, attorney Andrew Fink said.
Because of a mistake, Uri Rafaeli owed $8.41 on a rental property in Southfield. The bill grew to $285 with penalties and interest. Oakland County sold the house for $24,500 but refused to give him a dime, although the sale easily exceeded the amount of overdue taxes.