Michigan Supreme Court Ruling Against Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner

Oakland County Commissioners ,Woodward and Gingell, Issue Joint Statement Regarding Michigan Supreme Court Ruling Against Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner for $8.41 Foreclosure. Board to Form Special Committee to Convene Hearings to Minimize Damage to County Taxpayers and Prevent from Ever Happening Again.

The Michigan Supreme Court has ruled in a unanimous decision that Oakland County Executive candidate and current Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner violated the constitutional rights of a property owner when he foreclosed on a senior citizen for $8.41, sold the property at auction and kept the net value of the home.

Board Chairman David T. Woodward (D-Royal Oak) and Republican Caucus Chairman Michael J. Gingell (R-Lake Orion) issued the following statement:

“The Oakland County Board of Commissioners is gravely concerned that County Treasurer Andy Meisner violated the constitutional rights of an elderly homeowner, and other residents, as determined by the unanimous Michigan Supreme Court today. This carelessness and ineptitude will likely cost Oakland County taxpayers more than $34 million. In light of this ruling, the Board will have to evaluate what steps need to be taken to protect taxpayers and ensure the treasurer does not make this mistake again. We are extremely disappointed in his leadership and poor decision making.”

Last year, the Board of Commissioners approved Miscellaneous Resolution #19246 calling for a law change to prevent the county treasurer from foreclosing on property and keeping the “profit” from an auction sale. County Treasurer Andy Meisner opposed this action.

Woodward will appoint a special committee to lead the investigation into this matter. The purpose of the committee will be to plan for and mitigate the financial impact this is likely to have on the taxpayers of the county, and evaluate measures which may include a forensic audit, to ensure safeguards are in place to prevent this from ever happening again. To lead the special committee, Woodward will appoint Commissioner Helaine Zack (D-Huntington Woods), Chair of the Board’s Finance and Infrastructure Committee. Woodward and Gingell will also serve on the committee.

For more information about the Board of Commissioners call 248-858-0100.

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner Issued the Following Statement in Response

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner

Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner

“I am passionate about preventing foreclosure and fighting to keep people in their homes. As a State Representative, I worked to reform the General Property Tax Act that was written by the Legislature in 1999 with legislation to reduce the interest charged on delinquent properties. Most recently, I am working with Representative Robert Wittenberg on legislation to allow County Treasurers to have discretion to stop a foreclosure on a property because of a small balance – something we don’t currently have.

As Treasurer, my dedicated staff and I have helped 30,000 families save their homes from foreclosure.

As County Treasurer, I swore an oath to uphold the law, and to act as a fiduciary on behalf of the County, including defending the County in court cases that arise. Such was the case with the Rafaeli decision out of the Michigan Supreme Court today, which I was obligated to defend despite having issues with the state law in question.

This case asks the question: If a property is tax-foreclosed and sold at auction, should any extra proceeds go to the County – as is the case now under the current law – or should it go to the former property owner? Today, the Michigan Supreme Court answered that question in finding constitutional problems with the State Law as written.

I look forward to working with the Legislature to change this state law in a way that works well for property owners and our local communities, while being fair to the majority of property owners who pay their property taxes on time.”

Comments

  1. Lemon Karen says

    Why does the author of this article call what Meissen did as a “mistake.”

  2. Lemon Karen says

    Why does the author of this article call what Meissen did as a “mistake.” Also in Meisners response he said he was following the law. Does the law say he can keep the money?
    I do not understand did he keep the profits for himself or for the county?

  3. for the county, as per state law. The state is overturning that 1999 law.

  4. Karen Knudson says

    Many people could have helped the homeowner. Sometimes it only held until taxes are next due. I feel bad for the former owners but until the law is changed and people attempt to help themselves there is no resolution. I think legal aid should be given pro bono to help this stop from happening.

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