What Is a Certificate of Redemption in Michigan?

In Michigan, your county can foreclose and even sell the deed to your property for failure to pay property taxes and the accrued interest. A certificate of redemption is a document that indicates that you have paid all outstanding tax amounts and fines. It entitles you to regain ownership over your property after foreclosure but before an auction sale.

Obtaining a Redemption

When you do not pay your property taxes, the county treasurer makes a record of forfeiture against your title at the Recorder of Deeds office. If after receiving notice you still do not pay, the treasurer files suit in court for a judgment of forfeiture. You can redeem your property either before or after the court issues the judgment by making payment of all the outstanding taxes, administrative charges arising out of the forfeiture, fines and redemption certificate fee. To find out how much you need to pay to redeem your property and obtain the redemption certificate, visit the county tax collector’s office.

Redemption Period

Property taxes in Michigan are due twice a year. State residents receive a summer and winter tax bill. If the taxes remain unpaid for up to 12 months after they are due, the property stands forfeited to the county. The county issues a certificate of forfeiture. Once the foreclosure process goes through and the court issues a judgement, you have another 21 days to redeem your property. If you do not redeem your property within this time, the county will have legal rights to your property and you can no longer remain on it.

Redemption Certificate Details

If you do make payment of the outstanding amounts within the redemption period, you will receive a certificate of redemption. Ensure that a record of the certificate of redemption is made against the entry of the certificate of forfeiture so that there are no issues later about legal rights to the property. The certificate of redemption should also include your name and full details of the payment including the date and amount paid.

Tax Deed Sale

After the 21 days following the court judgment to forfeit, the county obtains legal rights to your property and you can no longer redeem it. The county usually disposes of the property through an auction sale known as a tax deed sale where the highest bidder acquires the deed and full ownership rights. The tax deed sale is final.