Legislature finalizes Victory bill to help homeowners pay off special assessments

LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Legislature has finalized Sen. Roger Victory’s legislation to help homeowners pay off state liens on their homes.

The state Deferred Special Assessment program is essentially a loan program that allows certain eligible residents to finance public improvements for which they would normally be charged, such as a new water or sewer connection. Residents using the program are charged 6% annual interest on the amount until they pay it off and the state places a lien on the home.

“This issue came to my attention when a constituent called my office upset that his father-in-law had a lien on his house from the state,” said Victory, R-Hudsonville. “The man wanted to pay down the balance, but he was told by the Treasury Department that they do not accept partial payments and he could only pay off the balance in full. That doesn’t make any sense.

“This bill would fix the program and allow struggling homeowners to make payments to reduce and eventually repay their state debt — like they would pay off any other loan.”

Senate Bill 1053 would allow those who participate in the state’s Deferred Special Assessment Program to make partial payments on the balance, instead of being required to submit the payment in one lump sum.

“My bill would also initiate the process of closing out the program, which is no longer competitive with the current private market and puts the state in a position where we are holding liens against our residents’ homes,” Victory said.

SB 1053 has been sent to the governor to be signed.

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