For Second Time, Ingham Officials Stop Home Auction

Jul 11, 2012

For the second time, Ingham County officials have intervened in the public auction of a Meridian Township home they say has been wrongfully foreclosed.

County Register of Deeds Curtis Hertel Junior says a Michigan debt collection firm admitted in March that an Okemos homeowner successfully modified her mortgage.  But he says the firm planned to publicly auction the home Thursday anyway.  On Wednesday, county officials got a judge's permission to stop it.  

Hertel calls the situation a symptom of Michigan's "broken" foreclosure laws.

"She wants to make payments," he says. "I don't understand why the best thing for anybody would be taking her house if she can make the payments they've already agreed to."

Calls to the debt collection firm--Schneiderman and Sherman in Farmington Hills--were not returned in time for this story.

Hertel says the woman's home was also sold at sheriff's sale last year after her lender mysteriously rejected her payments.  Foreclosure fraud officials got the sale invalidated.

Hertel claims such abuses could be reduced under a system of "judicial" foreclosure where a judge personally reviews each case.