Macomb County Real Estate

Practice Areas
Real Estate

Real Estate

With substantial real estate backgrounds, our attorneys have a clear understanding of real estate matters and work collaboratively on a variety of cases to get different ideas. Below are a few of the most common real estate matters we handle for clients, but it’s just a small sample of our work. For more information about our real estate law services, please contact our office to request a free consultation.

Michigan Land Contracts: Forfeiture or Foreclosure?

Land contract forfeiture is an action that is filed in the local District Court where the property is located for purposes of allowing the Vendee of the Land Contract (i.e. the buyer) the opportunity to bring the land contract current, including all arrearage for payments, taxes, interest, costs and expenses. You would be entitled to a Judgment of Land Contract Forfeiture that allows the buyer/defendant 90 days to pay (if less than 50 percent of the Land Contract has been paid) to keep the property, or the property would be forfeited to the plaintiff/seller. The disadvantage is that if the judgment is not paid, the plaintiff only gets the property back, no money judgment. If you are seeking a judgment for a deficiency between the value of the property and the Land Contract amount, foreclosure is likely the better process, but it is more costly.

  • Advantages of Forfeiture: Summary Proceeding allows for a short litigation process (can obtain judgment relatively quickly) and is much less expensive than a foreclosure. Short redemption period (90 days if less than 50 percent owed).
  • Disadvantages of Forfeiture: No money judgment.

Michigan Foreclosure

An action filed in Circuit Court for Land Contract Foreclosure is commenced by giving notice to the Land Contract holder of the intent to accelerate the entire balance due on the Land Contract, including all principal, interest, costs, and expenses. A title commitment for insurance should be ordered prior to commencement to give all parties of interest notice of the litigation proceeding. After service, the defendant will have 28 days to respond to the Complaint, or a default will be entered.

Upon entry of a Judgment of Foreclosure, which contains the full amount owed on the land contract, including principal, interest, costs, and expenses (actual attorney fees are not included in the judgment), the property can be sold at a sheriff’s sale. The property does not get sold until three months have passed from the entry of the judgment of sale. An upset price may be set forth in the judgment. After the judgment, the property is sold at sale after publication costs as required by statute. A public sale is conducted, and the sheriff accepts the highest bid made on the property. You may bid any amount for the property up to the judgment amount without paying any funds. Usually, you are the only bidder at the sale. Upon conclusion of the sale, a Sheriff’s Deed is recorded at the Register of Deeds, and the bidder at the sale is the owner of the property after six (6) months if not redeemed.

An advantage of the Land Contract Foreclosure Process does allow you the opportunity for a deficiency (money) judgment against the buyer.

Short Sales

A short sale involves selling a property for less than what is currently owed on that property (known as negative equity). In these transactions, a real estate attorney can help you negotiate with your lender or bank to reduce the payoff amount, help you resolve deficiencies on your mortgage, and help you avoid potential collection actions in the future. If a short sale is not executed properly, sellers can be pursued by collection agencies years after the property is sold.

Title Issues

A title describes the rightful ownership of a property. When you are purchasing a home, you are purchasing the title to that real estate. Other individuals or entities could have claims on the property you’re trying to buy. There could be unpaid mortgages or liens for unpaid taxes filed against the property, for example, that “cloud” the title and prevent you from receiving a “clear” title to the property. In these situations, our team can help you determine the best course of action.

Michigan Real Estate Attorneys You Can Trust

If you need legal guidance with a complex real estate matter, the attorneys at Aiello & Associates can help. We have a team with extensive experience in a wide range of legal matters, ensuring that your needs are met at every step of the process. Call us today or send us a message online to request your free consultation.

If you are facing a tough legal issue, the decisions you make now can affect you for the rest of your life. That’s why it’s important to seek the help of an experienced and aggressive lawyer.
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Chris Aiello

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