We were glad to see that our Michigan legislators did the right thing on Wednesday by passing legislation that keeps a six-month redemption period in place for homeowners facing foreclosure.
We were watching Senate Bill 383 closely because, as originally proposed, it would have cut from six months to 60 days the time homeowners had to find a way to stay in their homes or find acceptable living arrangements elsewhere.
Michigan’s foreclose law has been built around the idea that it’s better to keep people in their homes when possible, which has been key for areas like ours where the foreclosure rate has been well above average. One of the intents behind the initial proposal for SB 383 was to help lending institutions have the flexibility to do an inspection on foreclosed properties to ensure they were not being destroyed or stripped of their value before banks actually took ownership, which then would affect their ability to resell.
As it stands, SB 383 says a property owner who is keeping their home in good shape, still has six months — as before — to either challenge the legitimacy of the foreclosure, come up with the money to save their home, sell it on a short sale or find another place to live. In addition, it also gives lenders the flexibility to inspect a home that is in the process of foreclosure to make sure it is being kept in good shape.
In our opinion, Montcalm County does a great job in trying to steer at-risk homeowners toward options that can guide them to ways of keeping their home. Check out the Treasurer Links at www.montcalm.org/countytreasurer.asp to get a feel for what we’re talking about.
In a state that is still teetering on a very fragile economic tightrope, it’s important that we balance the needs of at-risk homeowners with the very real concerns of lenders. This week, our Legislature did just that.
Editorial opinions are the consensus of The Daily News editorial board.