Senate OKs Runestad, Johnson bills to help prevent foreclosures

LANSING, Mich. — The state Senate on Wednesday unanimously approved legislation sponsored by Sens. Jim Runestad and Ruth Johnson that would help to prevent foreclosures on Michigan homeowners.

Senate Bill 725, sponsored by Runestad, would improve foreclosure notice requirements.

“Anyone in Michigan could become the victim of an overzealous government abusing their power to foreclose on homes,” said Runestad, R-White Lake. “But in particular we must protect the most vulnerable in these situations, such as the poor and the elderly. This bill will safeguard this population against this situation.”

Johnson sponsored SB 726, which would allow a county treasurer to remove a parcel from the foreclosure petition if an amount is paid equal to or greater than the necessary amount to redeem the property.

“It’s ridiculous that a government would accept a payment for the most recent property tax bill while also trying to foreclose on the homeowner over an underpayment on a previous bill,” said Johnson, R-Holly. “My bill would help homeowners keep their homes if they make a payment that would be enough to stop a tax foreclosure. Tax payment rules should help keep people out of foreclosure when possible.”

The measures also will provide notice revision requirements for interest amounts and new warning statements and will allow for property to be kept out of foreclosure if a payment was made to the local unit in error that could have been applied to redeem the property if it were made to the county.

SBs 725 and 726 now head to the Michigan House for further consideration.