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Where occupants' leases are not recorded, they are not entitled to same notice as owners in tax foreclosure

The court held that despite any violations of MCL 211.78f and MCL 211.78i, the trial court properly denied the respondents-property owners' motion to set aside the judgment of foreclosure because they were properly served with notice and thus, they could not claim that notice was insufficient because the occupants of the premises were not served. "Although it is one taxable parcel, two separate business are operated on the premises" - a salon and an insurance business. While the parcel is commonly known by the street number 2920, each business operates under a different address. The salon operates at 2920 and the insurance business uses 2922. Respondents argued that the petitioner-county treasurer's failure to mail notice to and personally serve an occupant of the parcel constituted a violation of due process, and that because the treasurer did not comply with the relevant statutory procedures, the trial court was required to cancel the treasurer's sale of the parcel. The court disagreed, noting that it was "undisputed that respondents, as owners of the property, received constitutionally and statutorily sufficient notice of the tax foreclosure proceedings." There was "no evidence that the notice required under MCL 211.78f(1) was mailed to an 'occupant' as required by MCL 211.78f(2)." Also, while the treasurer appeared to have "made a personal visit as required by MCL 211.78i(3), it occurred on a Sunday and no notice was personally served on any occupant at that time." The treasurer argued that since the occupants' leases were not recorded, they were not entitled to the same notice as owners of a property interest, such as respondents. Respondents admitted that the occupants' leases were not recorded, but asserted that the leasehold interest of the occupant of 2922 would have been discovered if the records listed in MCL 211.78i(6) had been properly searched. It appeared that the interest was identifiable and the insurance business was entitled to notice by certified mail under MCL 211.78i(1). "Such notice was not provided." The treasurer's agent made a personal visit to the property, and posted a notice on the building. The court noted that this visit was not inadequate on the basis the agent only visited 2920 and not 2922. Pursuant to MCL 211.78i(10), it held that even if the treasurer "failed to comply with the provisions of MCL 211.78i, the proceedings were valid because respondents were provided actual notice and due process was satisfied." Affirmed.


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