Treasurer Opposes Bill to Change Tax Foreclosures

Oct 2, 2017

Credit Rich Pedroncelli / AP Photo

Kalamazoo could join other counties around the state that oppose a bill making it easier to challenge tax foreclosures. Senate Bill 386 would expand the reasons that a property owner could contest a foreclosure in court. The bill passed the Senate handily and is now in committee in the House. 

Kalamazoo County Treasurer Mary Balkema says she wants to make sure it stays there. Balkema says the bill would make it too easy to challenge a foreclosure - among other things, by claiming that it came as a surprise.

"We would have everyone say, ‘Oh, I’m surprised! I can’t believe you’re foreclosing on me,’ when tax foreclosure really is about due process," she says.

"Really what you’re saying is, ‘the dog ate my homework’ kind of logic, you know what I mean? ‘The dog ate my homework so I’m not prepared and I can’t turn anything in.’ Well, you know that we’re dependent on property taxes and that’s how we pay the bills here," she adds.

Balkema says about three dozen counties have declared their opposition to the bill. She’s asking Kalamazoo County to do the same. The board’s expected to consider that resolution on Tuesday.