Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac cheated Michigan, Oakland County in foreclosure deals, judge rules

Michigan and Oakland County would get millions of dollars under a judge's ruling Friday that national mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac illegally withheld real estate transfer taxes on foreclosed properties they sold from 2006 to 2011.

U.S. District Judge Victoria Roberts' ruling could open the door to all the 82 other Michigan counties that weren't a part of the original lawsuit.

Fannie and Freddie contended they were exempt from the tax as quasi-government entities. Individuals who sell a home, however, must pay the tax, which amounts to $860 on the sale of a $100,000 property.

The case has attracted national attention in light of the mortgage foreclosure crisis in the U.S. In this case alone, Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner estimates that the county is owed up to $4 million from Freddie and Fannie, while the state could be owed up to $20 million for mortgage transactions in Oakland County from 2006 through 2011. Read More