Michigan Home Foreclosure Laws

If you are facing foreclosure in Michigan, learn about typical Michigan foreclosure notice and procedures as well as homeowner protections.

Foreclosures in Michigan don’t take very long and the homeowner gets little notice about the proceedings. If you are facing a foreclosure in Michigan, it’s important to understand some of the basics, including the most common type of foreclosure procedure used in Michigan, how much notice you’ll get, your rights and protections in the process, and whether you’ll be liable for a deficiency judgment afterwards.

This article contains a summary of some of the key features of Michigan foreclosure law along with citations to the statutes so you can read the law yourself.

How to Find Michigan’s Foreclosure Laws

The citations to Michigan’s foreclosure statutes are:

  • Michigan Compiled Laws Sections 600.3101 through 600.3185, and
  • Michigan Compiled Laws Sections 600.3201 through 600.3285.

You can find a link to the Michigan statutes on the Michigan Legislative website at www.legislature.mi.gov. If you need help finding the statutes, see Finding Your State’s Foreclosure Laws.

Key Features of Michigan’s Foreclosure Laws

We’ve summarized important parts of Michigan’s foreclosure laws below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of Michigan foreclosure law in Nolo’s Michigan Foreclosure Law Center.

Most Common Type of Foreclosure Procedure in Michigan

Michigan foreclosures are typically nonjudicial (which take place out of court), though they can be judicial (which means the lender files a lawsuit to foreclose) as well. Since most foreclosures in Michigan are nonjudicial, this article focuses on that process.

Notice of the Foreclosure

To officially begin the foreclosure, the foreclosing party publishes a notice of sale in a newspaper for four successive weeks at least once per week. Within 15 days after the first publication, a copy of the notice must be posted in a conspicuous place on the property. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3208.

Michigan law does not require the foreclosing party to mail notice of the foreclosure to the borrower. However, most mortgages in Michigan require the foreclosing party to mail a 30-day notice of default to the borrower prior to starting foreclosure proceedings.

Special Foreclosure Protections in Michigan

Michigan law provides special protections against foreclosure to certain military service members, including members of the Michigan national guard. For example, the lender generally cannot foreclose nonjudicially if the borrower is a service member and:

  • the borrower entered into the mortgage before becoming a service member, or
  • the borrower is deployed overseas. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3285.

Any nonjudicial foreclosure during the service member's period of military service (or within six months after the end of the service member's period of military service) is invalid unless a court orders the foreclosure or sale. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3285. (Keep in mind there is also a federal law, the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, which provides protections to military service members who are facing foreclosure.)

Right to Reinstate Before the Foreclosure Sale in Michigan

“Reinstating” is when you catch up on the missed payments (plus fees and costs) in order to stop a foreclosure. (Learn more about reinstatement to avoid foreclosure.)

While there is no statutory right to reinstate before the sale in Michigan, most mortgages give the borrower the right to reinstate the loan or the foreclosing party may allow reinstatement.

Right of Redemption After Foreclosure in Michigan

Some states allow the borrower to redeem (repurchase) the home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure. In Michigan, the redemption period is:

  • one year (if the borrower owes less than two-thirds of the original loan amount)
  • six months (if the borrower owes more than two-thirds of the original loan amount), or
  • one month (if the home is abandoned). Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3240. (For details see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in Michigan, can I get it back?)

Michigan Deficiency Laws

When the total mortgage debt exceeds the foreclosure sale price, the difference is called a “deficiency.” Some states allow the lender to seek a personal judgment (called a “deficiency judgment”) against the borrower for this amount, while other states prohibit deficiency judgments with what are called anti-deficiency laws.

There is no anti-deficiency law in Michigan. The foreclosing party may obtain a deficiency judgment following a nonjudicial foreclosure. The borrower can contest the amount of the deficiency if:

  • the mortgage holder was the purchaser at the foreclosure sale, and
  • the foreclosure sale price was substantially less than the fair market value of the property. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3280. (For a summary of the deficiency law in Michigan, see Michigan Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency.)

Notice to Leave After the Foreclosure Sale

Under Michigan law, the foreclosed homeowners get the right to live in the property during the redemption period.

Generally, the new owner must wait until the redemption period expires to begin eviction proceedings. However, the former owners must allow the new owner to inspect both the interior and exterior of the home during the redemption period. The new owner of the home may begin eviction proceedings before the redemption period expires if:

  • the former owners unreasonably refuse to allow the new owner to inspect the home
  • the former owners cause damage to the home, or
  • damage to the home is imminent. Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3238.

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