Oakland County Treasurer Andy Meisner last week announced a lawsuit against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for unpaid real-estate transfer taxes as part of the Michigan county’s larger effort to combat foreclosures.
“It’s time for those who helped create the foreclosure crisis to pay their fair share for the situation in our communities,” Meisner said last week at a press conference announcing the lawsuit. “It’s not right for Oakland County taxpayers to be left on the hook when taxes are due and owing.”
The federal government-sponsored enterprises owe the county and the state as much as $12 million collectively for failing to pay the transfer tax on deeds because they claimed they are exempt as government entities, according to Oakland County officials.
But county corporation counsel Judith Cunningham said Fannie and Freddie are not government entities but rather publicly held companies that are therefore not exempt from paying the tax.
The county filed the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. A motion for a summary was filed last week seeking a decision of the court without the need for a trial.