Michigan is a 'deed tax' state, meaning counties impose property taxes on parcels of property (and not just the owners) in their jurisdictions throughout Michigan. If there is any issue with the non-payment of taxes, Michigan law allows country treasurers to seize and then sell the property for past due taxes, interest, and expenses.
This is known as property tax foreclosure. Many citizens do not understand the complicated process.
Current Year - January 1 – December 31
During this time, your property taxes are made payable to your local city, village or township government.
1st Year of Delinquency - March 1
On March 1, your taxes officially become “delinquent” and due to the County Treasurer’s Office. A 4% administration fee is added, along with 1% interest per month.
1st Year of Delinquency - October 1
A $15 fee is assessed.
1st Year of Delinquency - November 1
Your property is added to the preliminary forfeiture list.
2nd Year of Delinquency - February 1
Mortgage lenders and banks may be notified of the delinquency.
2nd Year of Delinquency - March 1
Minimum of $195 in fees added. The property is forfeited (in name only), not foreclosed, to the County Treasurer. The interest rate increases from 1% to 1.5% or from 12% to 18% each year.
2nd Year of Delinquency - May 1
A foreclosure petition is filed in Circuit Court. This is a lawsuit against the property, not the owners, so the usual lawsuit processes (i.e. being served) are not followed.
2nd Year of Delinquency - June 1 – January 31
All owners and lienholders are identified and are supposedly contacted through title research, and personal visits are made to taxpayers.
3rd Year of Forfeiture - January
Show cause hearing(s) are held for the property owners. Often times the taxpayers do not appear because they did not know about or understand the need to attend the hearing.
3rd Year of Forfeiture - February
A Circuit Court hearing is held, and a Foreclosure Judgment signed by the judge but does not require county treasurers to refund the excess equity.
3rd Year of Forfeiture - March 31
Taxpayers lose all interest in their property (which we assert is wrong).
3rd Year of Forfeiture - August
Tax foreclosed properties are offered at auction to recover back taxes, interest and penalties, and are sold to highest bidder.
3rd Year of Forfeiture - September Forward
County treasures and County Board of Commissioners receive and usually spend the entire proceeds from the tax sale on various public projects.
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