Spring-Summer 2019

Volume 46, Nos. 1-2


Amendments to the Michigan Construction Lien Act: A Jumpstart to Priority for Design Professionals

Leipprandt article

By Aileen M. Leipprandt

On December 12, 2018, Public Act 367 of 2018 took effect, amending the Michigan Construction Lien Act (“Lien Act”) by granting certain design professionals new priority rights where a project never actually gets built. Under the amended Lien Act, a design professional’s lien can now relate back to the recording date of a statutory notice, well before and irrespective of when the design professional performed any services or whether any actual physical improvement to property actually occurs. In that respect, the revisions do away with longstanding Michigan jurisprudence that has strictly interpreted the Lien Act as fixing priority of all construction liens at the time of the first actual physical improvement to property.

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Public Act 572 Amends Marketable Record Title Act Creating a Clash of Titans with Michigan Recording

Bartley article

By John D. Bartley

The Marketable Record Title Act (“MRTA”) was enacted in 1945. The stated legislative purpose of MRTA is “simplifying and facilitating land title transactions by allowing persons dealing with the record title owner … to rely on the record title covering a period of not more than 20 years for mineral interests and 40 years for other interests prior to the date of such dealing … .” In practice, marketable record title acts cause ancient interests in land to be extinguished by the passage of time if the holder of such interests fails to record a notice of claim in accordance with the applicable act.

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The FDCPA and the “Meaningful Attorney Involvement” Standard

Henry-Prantzalos article

By Brian P. Henry & Melissa Z. Prantzalos

Real property lawyers must understand key provisions of the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (“FDCPA”) when handling debt collection or representing lenders and servicers who wish to pursue nonjudicial foreclosure remedies after a mortgage default. To assist practitioners, this article explains both the “meaningful attorney involvement” standard and the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in Obduskey v. McCarthy & Holthus LLP regarding whether law firms enforcing security interests through nonjudicial foreclosures are “debt collectors.”

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The Michigan State Housing Development Authority

Moseng-Fobbe article

By Willard G. Moseng and Michael Fobbe

The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (the “Authority”) was created by Act 346 of the Public Acts of 1966 (the “Act”) to help provide decent, safe, and sanitary housing for the low and moderate income citizens of the State of Michigan. This article includes a brief description of the Authority, a discussion of the constitutional framework that defines its existence, and a discussion of many of the programs that it administers. Also included is a practical discussion of a housing tax exemption established in the Act. This exemption may be of particular interest to general real estate practitioners, who may encounter it in their day-to-day practice. Additional information regarding the Authority and its programs can be found at www.michigan.gov/mshda.

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Continuing Legal Education

By Jason Long, chair and Karen Schwartz, administrator

Summer Conference
Sailing Forward: Navigating Michigan’s Changing Real Estate Environment
July 10–13, 2019
Boyne Mountain Resort
Boyne Falls, Michigan

The 2019 Summer Conference was a great success.  We had over 140 registrants plus their families attend. The section thanks Brian P. Foley, Dickinson Wright and Roxana Zaha, Butzel Long for planning this dynamic and thought-provoking conference.

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Chair's Report

By Nicholas P. Scavone Jr.

It has truly been an honor to serve as Chair of the Real Property Law Section over the last twelve months. I am humbled by the many prominent attorneys who have served in this position before me, and proud to serve the Section. RPLS has a long history of serving its members and the Michigan legal community, providing an extensive array of CLE programs, including our new program the RPLS Academy, social and networking events highlighted by our annual Summer Conference, and publishing our signature Michigan Real Property Review and more recently, our monthly E-News publication. During the last twelve months, we enjoyed successes and faced challenges, and we are in midst of what I believe is a significant transition driven by our membership.

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Legislation Affecting Real Property

By Lorri B. King

The Section is active in the legislative process in a variety of ways, such as appearing before House and Senate committees, lobbying for and against bills, and monitoring legislation of interest to real estate lawyers. Before taking a formal public position for or against a bill, the Section follows procedures specified in its bylaws, and members with an interest in particular legislation should bring it to the attention of members of the Section Council or the chairs of the Special Committees listed on the Section’s website. Policy Positions of the Section can also be found there. This article provides a report of the year in review designed to inform Section members about new legislation affecting real property. The following are the bills of interest that became law after July 2018.

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Judicial Decisions Affecting Real Property

By Lorri B. King

The Section is active in the judicial process in a variety of ways, such as preparing amicus curiae briefs and monitoring cases of interest to real estate lawyers. This Article provides a periodic report designed to inform Section members about the Section’s efforts to maintain the integrity of the law and to advise Section members about published decisions that may affect real estate practice.

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Sign Up Today!

Real Property Winter Conference 2024

Dates: March 7–9, 2024
The Westin Kierland Resort & Spa, Scottsdale, AZ

More Information & Registration

Save the Date—Summer Conference 2024

Date: July 17–20, 2024
Location: Grand Traverse Resort, Traverse City, Michigan

More Information & Registration Coming Soon

Save the Date—Real Property Law Academy I

Date: September 17-18, 2024
Location: L.V. Eberhard Center, Grand Rapids

More Information & Registration Coming Soon

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Take the opportunity to get involved by writing for one of our publications, presenting at a conference or seminar, or joining one of the committees that cover virtually every area in real estate law. See our committees and how you can join.

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