Michigan Court of Appeals rules that a Governmental Entity is not liable for Condominium Assessments after Tax Foreclosure

In Harbor Watch Condominium Association v Emmet County Treasurer, the Michigan Court of Appeals recently ruled that the Emmet County Treasurer was not obligated to pay $97,366.09 in condominium assessments, late fees and interest to the Harbor Watch Condominium Association.  In 2011, the Emmet County Treasurer acquired 37 units in Harbor Watch after foreclosing on the units due to unpaid taxes.  The Court of Appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling that the County Treasurer was not responsible for the payment of assessments under the Michigan Condominium Act and the Michigan Condominium Act, even though it was a co-owner, as it did not voluntarily acquire the units.  Specifically, the Court of Appeals held that the Emmet County Treasurer could not be held liable for the payment of assessments after it had fulfilled its statutory obligation to foreclose on the units under the Michigan General Property Tax Act.  While not raised in this case, the logic applied by the Court of Appeals would also presumably absolve a governmental entity from successor developer responsibility under MCL 559.235 as well.

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