Governor signs Jones bill to help counties save tax dollars

LANSING—Sen. Rick Jones’ legislation to enable counties to save money currently paid to the state for handling foreclosures was signed on Tuesday by Gov. Rick Snyder.

Before Dec. 1, 1999, counties could pass resolutions having the state of Michigan serve as their foreclosing governmental unit.

“At a time when there were relatively few foreclosures, having the state do this job might have made good financial sense,” said Jones, R-Grand Ledge. “Unfortunately, counties must pay multiple fees to the state for handling the foreclosures. As foreclosures increased, these fees were costing counties, like Eaton County, thousands of dollars.

“Eaton County and others asked for the opportunity to rescind their resolutions and handle their own foreclosures, but the law included no process for them to do so. Now they can.”

Senate Bill 574, now Public Act 132 of 2014, allows county boards to rescind their previous decision to have the state of Michigan serve as their foreclosing governmental unit. Currently, 12 counties have elected to have the state as their foreclosing governmental unit.

Jones said the fees include the costs for site inspections, publication notices, title searches, inspection fees and amounts paid to outside contractors.

“In the end, this is about allowing county governments to take control of their own proceedings while also saving county taxpayers thousands of dollars every year,” Jones said.

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