December 2015

An informative e-newsletter for the Real Property Law Section of the State Bar of Michigan.

Unlicensed Builders: Remedies for Poor Work

By Jacob High, Law Office of Jacob High, PLLC

Michigan law protects property owners from unlicensed builders by prohibiting unlicensed builders from suing to collect payment for contracted work. MCL 339.2412(1). The Supreme Court recently clarified MCL 339.2412(1) in Epps v. 4 Quarters Restoration LLC, Mich Sup Ct No. 147727, September 28, 2015. The Epps, homeowners in Detroit, contracted with a builder to repair their home without realizing that the builder’s license had been revoked. The builder received insurance payments, but the homeowners sued to recover the payments after becoming unsatisfied with the repairs. The homeowners claim that their contract was void ab initio, and argue that MCL 339.2412(1) prohibits the builder from defending the action and disallows a setoff for the value of the work. Read More or Comment

Expunging Foreclosures by Affidavit

By Lauren Saad, Segal McCambridge Singer & Mahoney, Ltd.

Recent cases suggest that a mortgagee may revive a foreclosed mortgage by simply recording an affidavit under MCL 565.451a which rescinds or “expunges” the sheriff’s sale—even, in some instances, after the redemption period has expired. In Connolly v. Deutsche Bank Nat’l Trust Co., 581 Fed App 500 (6th Cir 2014) the court reviewed various cases and characterized Michigan law as “consistently accept[ing] an affidavit expunging a sheriff’s sale,” therefore upholding the validity of the affidavit at issue. The court reviewed Freund v. Trott & Trott, PC (Mich App No. 299011, October 25, 2011, unpublished) (affidavit recorded after expired redemption period fully reinstated mortgage), and Cordes v. Great Lakes Excavating & Equip. Rental Inc., (Mich App No. 304003, June 7, 2012, unpublished) (upholding affidavit in an erroneously recorded mortgage discharge). Read More or Comment

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The views and opinions expressed in these articles are those of the authors, and they do not reflect in any way the positions of the State Bar of Michigan or the Real Property Law Section. These columns are meant for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) was not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any person for the purpose of (i) avoiding tax-related penalties or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.