On October 22, 2012, C|M|LAW Clinical Professor Emeritus Kermit Lind was quoted in the Detroit Free Press in an article by Eric D. Lawrence, Metro taxpayers foot bill as banks walk away from homes. The article was about homeowners who walk away from their homes when they can no longer make mortgage payments. This leaves cities with unpaid taxes, and potential nuisances that have to be dealt with at the expense of the taxpayers.
According to Lind, “local officials often face a tough challenge in notifying the mortgage servicer when a problem, such as a nuisance issue, arises. He said taxing entities seeking unpaid taxes — such as county treasurers, or municipalities dealing with nuisance violations — have no choice legally but to contact those listed on property records. And the company on file is likely not the loan servicer, the company that might be designated to handle things such as tax payments. A simple solution, Lind said, would be for banks to file an affidavit with the register of deeds that lists the name of the servicer.
“It’s up to them to do something about it,” Lind said of banks. “If the servicer isn’t doing their job, then the burden shouldn’t be on the taxpayer for that.””
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