South Dakota bans home equity theft following Supreme Court case last term
February 12, 2024
Pierre, SD; February 12, 2024: Today, Governor Kristi Noem signed into law House Bill 1090, which ends home equity theft in South Dakota by requiring tax-foreclosed properties to be auctioned within one year of the foreclosure, and the proceeds returned to the original owner. The bill, sponsored by Representative Kirk Chaffee and Senator Jim Stalzer, is the first of its kind to be introduced and passed since the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in Tyler v. Hennepin County that home equity theft is unconstitutional.
“Home equity theft is not only unconstitutional, it is patently unjust,” said Jim Manley, state legal policy deputy director at Pacific Legal Foundation. “We are thrilled that South Dakota has taken the necessary steps to protect homeowners’ property rights. Other states should follow South Dakota’s lead and amend their laws to comply with the Supreme Court’s decision in Tyler. States that refuse to do so could potentially face huge liability in future litigation.”
As Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in his unanimous Tyler opinion: “The taxpayer must render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, but no more.” Yet today, 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, continue to have home equity theft laws on their books.
Fortunately, Pacific Legal Foundation is advising policymakers in several states on how to protect homeowners and has published policy guidelines and model legislation so that states can end home equity theft once and for all.
Pacific Legal Foundation is a national nonprofit law firm that defends Americans threatened by government overreach and abuse. Since our founding in 1973, we challenge the government when it violates individual liberty and constitutional rights. With active cases in 34 states plus Washington, D.C., PLF represents clients in state and federal courts, with 17 wins of 19 cases litigated at the U.S. Supreme Court.