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Tag: michigan

January 04, 2019

Former homeowner fights Gratiot County’s theft of home

In 2017, officials in Gratiot County, Michigan, seized Donald Freed's $97,000 home to pay an overdue tax debt of $1,100. The county sold his property at auction for $42,000 and kept all of the proceeds from the sale. Shockingly Michigan’s property tax law requires this all-too-common practice. It's a nice racket for the county, which ...

November 29, 2018

Good news in fight to end Michigan’s tax foreclosure abuse

In 2011, PLF client Uri Rafaeli of Oakland County, Michigan, accidentally underpaid property taxes by $8. He paid all the following years' taxes on time. But in 2014, after making his first tax payment for the year, he discovered that the County had foreclosed on his home to collect the $8 debt, plus about $277 ...

January 12, 2018

PLF asks Michigan Supreme Court to stop theft by tax collectors

For the sake of justice, the Michigan Supreme Court should step in and secure to Uri Rafaeli, Andre Ohanessian, and people across Michigan what rightfully belongs to them. ...

December 07, 2017

PLF Asks Michigan Supreme Court to Hold Government Accountable for Theft

PLF filed an application asking the Michigan Supreme Court to grant review and bring justice to Uri Rafaeli—who lost an entire home to Oakland County over an $8 debt, and to Andrew Ohanessian—who lost 2.7 acres over a $6,000 debt. ...

October 27, 2017

When does a $8.41 tax bill cost you $24,215?

In January 2013, Uri Rafaeli's business—Rafaeli, LLC—tried to pay the overdue taxes for a modest rental home in Southfield, Michigan.  Rafaeli miscalculated the interest due for the delinquent 2011 taxes and underpaid by $8.41. A year later, Oakland County foreclosed on the property. The County then auctioned the property for $24,500 and kept ...

September 11, 2017

Michigan’s foreclosure law: Efficient or unfair?

As you will recall, since last year, Christina Martin has been keeping you up to date on Michigan's unjust, and unconstitutional foreclosure law in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County. Before PLF took over the direct representation of the victims of this unfair law, including Wayside Church, it filed an amicus brief to support them in the U.S. Court ...

August 17, 2017

Groups ask Supreme Court to grant PLF’s petition in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County

This week several groups filed "friend of the court" briefs supporting PLF's Supreme Court petition in Wayside Church v. Van Buren County. Two of the amicus briefs—one by AARP and the other by the Buckeye Institute—focus on the need for the Court to review Michigan's unjust tax foreclosure law. Under this unjust and unconstitutional law, Van ...

August 01, 2017

Michigan turns foreclosure into a government self-enrichment machine

Today, National Review published my article discussing, Wayside Church v. Van Buren County, PLF’s case challenging legalized theft in Michigan. Michigan’s unjust property tax law allows local governments to steal from people who fall behind on their property taxes. As I explain in the article, Can the government take your home and all ...

July 13, 2017

PLF asks Supreme Court to stop Michigan from stealing

When Wayside Church fell behind on its 2011 property taxes on a parcel that the church had used as a youth camp, Van Buren County took the youth camp property and sold it for $206,000 to pay the church's $16,750 in taxes, penalties, interest, and fees. The County kept the surplus proceeds—$189,250 more than the ...

February 28, 2017

Michigan exploiting property owners’ hardships to enrich government

This week, PLF filed a petition asking the full Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals to rehear the takings case of Wayside Church, Henderson Hodgens, and Myron Stahl. All three lost their property to Van Buren County after they fell behind on their 2011 taxes. The County foreclosed on their properties and sold each for significantly ...