Wayside Church updatesThe hearing before the Western District took place on February 13 as (re)scheduled. The Minute order (document 518), as expected, says that "motion is taken under advisement, opinion and order to issue." Expect that to take at least a month.
There was a Declaration (document 517) filed by Scott Fenwick of Kroll Settlement Services on Feburary 12. This reported on the total number of claims filed, including lienholder claims. Included in the Declaration was the following:
17. As agreed by Counsel, any Claimant whose Claim is deemed deficient will be notified via first-class mail of their deficiency and given forty-five (45) days to cure such deficiency. Should the Claimant not cure the deficiency, that Claim will be rejected under the terms of the Settlement.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE BACKGROUNDUnder the General Property Tax Act (GPTA), after a county forecloses on a parcel of land for unpaid property taxes in default for more than three years, the parcel becomes the county’s property on entry of a judgment of foreclosure, and then can be sold at auction. The proceeds are then used to pay the back property taxes and any accumulated interest and penalties.
The GPTA went further and permitted the county to retain all of the proceeds from auction sales, and did not require that the excess funds be paid over to the defaulting landowner.
In the case of Rafaeli v. Oakland County, decided in 2020, the Michigan Supreme Court ruled that the sections of the GPTA that allowed counties to retain the excess funds were unconstitutional, as a taking of private property without compensation.
A description of the Rafaeli case can be found at this link.
The Kroll Settlement Site provides updated information on the status of the class action lawsuit.