(FinancialHealth.net) – In 1999, officials in Michigan passed Public Act 123 to allow the county to seize properties from homeowners with unpaid debt, resell the homes and keep the excess money. It was supposed to help make redevelopment in poor, dilapidated areas move along faster. Unfortunately, many people are now arguing the legislation was used nefariously.
Oakland County commissioners are demanding answers from their treasurer after the Michigan Supreme Court ruled for an elderly homeowner whose house was seized for an $8.41 tax debt. The state’s high court ruled the county violated Uri Rafaeli’s constitutional rights when they snatched his home away from him and sold it for $24,000.
Oakland County, Michigan, might owe $30 million to former homeowners victimized by aggressive tax asset forfeitures. Like Uri Rafaeli, who lost his house over an $8 unpaid tax bill. https://t.co/PZGD2vTRiB via @reason
— Susan McClintock (@SusanMcClintock) July 24, 2020
The commissioners now want Treasurer Andrew Meisner to explain why he was seizing properties over insignificant debts. As a result of the state Supreme Court ruling, the county may have to pay millions of dollars to former homeowners who were foreclosed on.
The idea that a county could seize someone’s home over an $8.41 debt is absurd. It’s not good enough for the county to pay off the people they’ve hurt. The legislation that made it possible should be repealed and replaced.
~Here’s to Your Financial Health!
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