Transparency in foreclosure

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State Rep. Triston Cole, left, testifies before the House Government Operations Committee March 19 alongside Brad Thompson, CEO of the Detroit Legal News and past president of the Michigan Press Association.
“Providing consumer-friendly language in foreclosure notices will help people on both ends of the foreclosure process,” Cole said. “Residents who are facing foreclosure will be better informed and buyers will benefit from more reliable procedures.”

A plan introduced by state Rep. Triston Cole would ensure Michigan families facing foreclosure have access to important details about the process.

The Michigan House overwhelmingly approved the plan today, sending it to the Senate for consideration.

Cole, of Mancelona, said his solution ensures foreclosure notices include details needed to better protect residents facing foreclosure, as well as people planning to purchase foreclosed property.

“Providing consumer-friendly language in foreclosure notices will help people on both ends of the foreclosure process,” Cole said. “Residents who are facing foreclosure will be better informed and buyers will benefit from more reliable procedures.”

House Bill 4306 would require a notice of foreclosure by advertisement to include additional information, such as:

  • The street address of the property.
  • The name, address and telephone number of the attorney representing the foreclosing party.
  • Detailed information regarding the sale and public auction of the premises, including a statement that the property may have other obligations attached to its purchase, such as liens.
  • A statement connecting veterans and military service members who are facing foreclosure to resources that could help them remain in their homes.

Brad Thompson, CEO of the Detroit Legal News and past president of the Michigan Press Association, said foreclosure notices previously contained much of this information, but it was not required by law.

Over the past two years, attorneys who publish foreclosure notices in newspapers across the state started strictly limiting the notices to the information required in statute.

“It became a very poor public notice because it didn’t have a lot of key information,” Thompson said while testifying alongside Cole March 19 before the House Government Operations Committee. “This bill ensures a good public notice and protects all parties involved.”

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