STATE OF MICHIGAN

97TH LEGISLATURE

REGULAR SESSION OF 2014

Introduced by Reps. Walsh, Cavanagh, Haveman, Faris, Tlaib, Barnett and Price

ENROLLED HOUSE BILL No. 5421

AN ACT to amend 1893 PA 206, entitled “An act to provide for the assessment of rights and interests, including leasehold interests, in property and the levy and collection of taxes on property, and for the collection of taxes levied; making those taxes a lien on the property taxed, establishing and continuing the lien, providing for the sale or forfeiture and conveyance of property delinquent for taxes, and for the inspection and disposition of lands bid off to the state and not redeemed or purchased; to provide for the establishment of a delinquent tax revolving fund and the borrowing of money by counties and the issuance of notes; to define and limit the jurisdiction of the courts in proceedings in connection with property delinquent for taxes; to limit the time within which actions may be brought; to prescribe certain limitations with respect to rates of taxation; to prescribe certain powers and duties of certain officers, departments, agencies, and political subdivisions of this state; to provide for certain reimbursements of certain expenses incurred by units of local government; to provide penalties for the violation of this act; and to repeal acts and parts of acts,” by amending section 78g (MCL 211.78g), as amended by 2003 PA 263.

The People of the State of Michigan enact:

Sec. 78g. (1) Except as otherwise provided in this subsection, on March 1 in each tax year, certified abandoned property and property that is delinquent for taxes, interest, penalties, and fees for the immediately preceding 12 months or more is forfeited to the county treasurer for the total amount of those unpaid delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees. If property is forfeited to a county treasurer under this subsection, the foreclosing governmental unit does not have a right to possession of the property until the April 1 immediately succeeding the entry of a judgment foreclosing the property under section 78k or in a contested case until 22 days after the entry of a judgment foreclosing the property under section 78k. If property is forfeited to a county treasurer under this subsection, the county treasurer shall add a $175.00 fee to each parcel of property for which those delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees remain unpaid. A county treasurer shall withhold a parcel of property from forfeiture for any reason determined by the state tax commission. The procedure for withholding a parcel of property from forfeiture under this subsection shall be determined by the state tax commission.

(2) Not more than 45 days after property is forfeited under subsection (1), the county treasurer shall record with the county register of deeds a certificate in a form determined by the department of treasury for each parcel of property forfeited to the county treasurer, specifying that the property has been forfeited to the county treasurer and not redeemed and that absolute title to the property shall vest in the county treasurer on the March 31 immediately succeeding the entry of a judgment foreclosing the property under section 78k or in a contested case 21 days after the entry of a judgment foreclosing the property under section 78k. If a certificate of forfeiture is recorded in error, the county treasurer shall record with the county register of deeds a certificate of error in a form prescribed by the department of treasury. A certificate submitted to the county register of deeds for recording under this subsection need not be notarized and may be authenticated by a digital signature of the county treasurer or by other electronic means. If the county has elected under section 78 to have this state foreclose property under this act forfeited to the county treasurer under this section, the county treasurer shall immediately transmit to the department of treasury a copy of each certificate recorded under this subsection. The county treasurer shall upon collection transmit to the department of treasury within 30 days the fee added to each parcel under subsection (1), which may be paid from the county’s delinquent tax revolving fund and shall be deposited in the land reutilization fund created under section 78n.

(3) Property forfeited to the county treasurer under subsection (1) may be redeemed at any time on or before the March 31 immediately succeeding the entry of a judgment foreclosing the property under section 78k or in a contested case within 21 days of the entry of a judgment foreclosing the property under section 78k upon payment to the county treasurer of all of the following:

(a) The total amount of unpaid delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees for which the property was forfeited or the reduced amount of unpaid delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees payable under subsection (8), if applicable.

(b) Except as otherwise provided in this subdivision and subdivision (c), in addition to the interest calculated under sections 60a(1) or (2) and 78a(3), additional interest computed at a noncompounded rate of 1/2% per month or fraction of a month on the taxes that were originally returned as delinquent, computed from the March 1 preceding the forfeiture. The county treasurer may waive the additional interest under this subdivision if the property is withheld from the petition for foreclosure under section 78h(3)(c).

(c) If the property is classified as residential real property under section 34c, the property is a principal residence exempt from the tax levied by a local school district for school operating purposes under section 7cc, and a tax foreclosure avoidance agreement is in effect for the property under section 78q(5), while the tax foreclosure avoidance agreement is effective, all of the following shall apply:

(i) The property shall be withheld from the petition for foreclosure under section 78h.

(ii) The additional interest under subdivision (b) shall not apply and interest computed at a noncompounded rate of 1/2% per month or fraction of a month on the taxes that were originally returned as delinquent, computed from the date that the taxes originally were returned as delinquent, shall apply to the property.

(d) All recording fees and all fees for service of process or notice.

(4) If property is redeemed by a person with a legal interest as provided under subsection (3), any unpaid taxes not returned as delinquent to the county treasurer under section 78a are not extinguished.

(5) If property is redeemed by a person with a legal interest as provided under subsection (3), the person redeeming does not acquire a title or interest in the property greater than that person would have had if the property had not been forfeited to the county treasurer, but the person redeeming, other than the owner, is entitled to a lien for the amount paid to redeem the property in addition to any other lien or interest the person may have, which shall be recorded within 30 days with the register of deeds by the person entitled to the lien. The lien acquired shall have the same priority as the existing lien, title, or interest.

(6) If property is redeemed as provided under subsection (3), the county treasurer shall issue a redemption certificate in quadruplicate in a form prescribed by the department of treasury. One of the quadruplicate certificates shall be delivered to the person making the redemption payment, 1 shall be filed in the office of the county treasurer, 1 shall be recorded in the office of the county register of deeds, and 1 shall be immediately transmitted to the department of treasury if this state is the foreclosing governmental unit. The county treasurer shall also make a note of the redemption certificate in the tax record kept in his or her office, with the name of the person making the final redemption payment, the date of the payment, and the amount paid. If the county treasurer accepts partial redemption payments, the county treasurer shall include in the tax record kept in his or her office the name of the person or persons making each partial redemption payment, the date of each partial redemption payment, the amount of each partial redemption payment, and the total amount of all redemption payments. A certificate and the entry of the certificate in the tax record by the county treasurer is prima facie evidence of a redemption payment in the courts of this state. A certificate submitted to the county register of deeds for recording under this subsection need not be notarized and may be authenticated by a digital signature of the county treasurer or by other electronic means. If a redemption certificate is recorded in error, the county treasurer shall record with the county register of deeds a certificate of error in a form prescribed by the department of treasury. A copy of a certificate of error recorded under this section shall be immediately transmitted to the department of treasury if this state is the foreclosing governmental unit.

(7) If a foreclosing governmental unit has reason to believe that a property forfeited under this section may be the site of environmental contamination, the foreclosing governmental unit shall provide the department of environmental quality with any information in the possession of the foreclosing governmental unit that suggests the property may be the site of environmental contamination.

(8) Before July 1, 2016, if the amount of unpaid delinquent taxes, interest, penalties, and fees for which a property was forfeited is greater than 50% of the state equalized valuation of the property and the property is subject to and in compliance with a delinquent property tax installment payment plan under section 78q(1) or a tax foreclosure avoidance agreement under section 78q(5), or both, the foreclosing governmental unit may reduce the amount of taxes, interest, penalties, and fees required to be paid to redeem the property under subdivision (3)(a) to an amount equal to 50% of the state equalized valuation of the property. If a property is redeemed by payment of the reduced amount under this subsection, any remaining unpaid taxes, interest, penalties, and fees for which the property was forfeited and otherwise payable shall be canceled by the county treasurer. A foreclosing governmental unit may not approve a reduction in the amount necessary to redeem property under this subsection if the reduction would cause noncompliance with section 87c(7) or otherwise impermissibly impair an outstanding debt of the county.

Enacting section 1. This amendatory act does not take effect unless House Bill No. 4882 of the 97th Legislature is enacted into law.

This act is ordered to take immediate effect.

Clerk of the House of Representatives

Secretary of the Senate

Approved

Governor