FAQ: What is Foreclosure Process in Michigan
FAQS FOR HOMEOWNERS AND HOUSING COUNSELORS:
WHAT IS THE FORECLOSURE PROCESS IN MICHIGAN?
I’ve been told that my house is “in foreclosure.” What does this mean?
Foreclosure is the legal process your mortgage lender may use to try to sell your
house if you are in default on your mortgage loan, usually because you have not
made your payments.
The foreclosure process varies widely from state to state.
In some states all foreclosures must go through a court process before the
property can be sold. In other states the foreclosure sale is “by advertisement.”
This means there is no judicial oversight of the foreclosure process. In Michigan,
most foreclosures are “by advertisement.”
When will my bank kick me out of my house?
Foreclosure is a lengthy process and, at the end, you can be evicted from the
property. However, the mortgage company has to follow some steps to get to
that point and they are not supposed to force you out of the house without a court
What will happen now?
For several years, Michigan had a law that mortgage companies that wanted to
foreclose “by advertisement” had to offer homeowners an opportunity to have a
meeting and submit documentation to be evaluated for a loan modification if the
house was the homeowner’s principal residence. This is no longer required for
all homeowners as of January 10, 2014.
As of January 10, 2014, just homeowners who have mortgages with Bank of
America, Chase Bank, CitiBank/CitiMortgage, Wells Fargo and GMAC will
receive a letter offering an opportunity to meet with a representative regarding
the foreclosure. If you receive one of these letters, you should request such a
meeting and ask to be considered for a loan modification.
If you have not already contacted a housing counselor, you should contact a nonprofit
housing counselor for assistance. You can select from the list provided
with your notice or go to www.michigan.gov/mshda.
How is the sheriff’s sale advertised? Will I receive a notice?
Your mortgage company must advertise the date and time for the sale in a
newspaper in the county where the property is located for four consecutive
weeks. It may be in a legal newspaper or the regular newspaper.
They must also post the sale notice on the property itself. However, there is no
requirement that you personally receive the notice.
I’ve been told the sheriff’s sale has been adjourned. What does this mean?
Your mortgage lender and their attorneys can adjourn the sheriff’s sale—that is,
they can postpone it. Most adjournments are “week-to-week” adjournments. In
order to postpone the sale on a week-to-week basis the mortgage lender and its
attorneys only need to post a notice at the courthouse and, legally, do not have
to re-publish or personally notify you in anyway. If your sale is being adjourned
you should make sure you are contacting the mortgage company’s attorneys on
a regular basis to learn the new sale date.
What is the sheriff’s sale?
The sheriff’s sale is a public auction, which anyone may attend, where the house
may be sold. While anyone with enough cash can purchase the property, in the
vast majority of situations the mortgage lender will buy the properties and the
mortgage lender will be the purchaser and new owner.
Now am I going to get evicted?
Not yet. After the sheriff’s sale there is a redemption period. For most properties
the redemption period is six months, however the redemption period can be
shortened. For more information on the redemption period see the FAQ: What
are my Rights During the Redemption Period.
The redemption period has expired. What now?
You will receive a Summons and Complaint that has a court date for the eviction
hearing. You should attend this hearing to confirm the date by which you need to
be moved out of the property. If you are not out of the property by that date, the
new owner (usually your mortgage lender) can ask that the court issue an Order
of Eviction which allows them to put your belongings on the curb and lock you out
of the house.
Legal Aid of Western Michigan