This case concerned the rights of homeowners to notice in foreclosure proceeds. Public Citizen convinced the Michigan Supreme Court to set aside a home foreclosure on constitutional due process grounds. As a result, our client, 75-year old Stella Sidun, got her house back. Public Citizen argued the case before the Michigan Supreme Court on March 5, 2008, and the court issued its unanimous opinion on July 2, 2008.
Ms. Sidun lost the house in a tax sale because the Wayne County Treasurer did not provide her with adequate notice of the foreclosure proceeding until it was too late to redeem the property. The County identified Ms. Sidun’s ownership interest by consulting the deed to the property, but never sent notice of the proceeding to Ms. Sidun’s address, even though her address was listed on the deed. Instead, the County sent notices to the former address of Ms. Sidun’s mother, who had been a co-owner of the property until her death, but those notices were returned to the County unclaimed. Even after receiving the unclaimed notices, the County failed to follow up by sending notice to Ms. Sidun’s address.