Confiscating Equity Through Foreclosure?

By: Michael M. Berger
– Daily Journal

In his most recent “Takings Talk” column for Daily Journal, Manatt Appellate Senior Counsel Michael Berger discussed a case out of Hennepin County, Minnesota that the U.S. Supreme Court will soon review and decide whether states that foreclose and take equity beyond delinquent taxes violate the Fifth Amendment’s takings clause and the Eighth Amendment’s excessive fines clause. 

In the article, Berger described a unique situation wherein a 93-year-old resident—who owed Hennepin County $15,000 after falling behind in paying her real estate taxes on her condo—was not remitted the remainder of the county’s $40,000 sale of the foreclosed property. She challenged the action, claiming it violated both the Fifth Amendment's takings clause and the Eighth Amendment's excessive fines clause, and the U.S. Supreme Court is now reviewing the case. “The case has two fascinating and foundational constitutional issues at its heart,” Berger noted. “It will be interesting to watch how they develop in the Supreme Court.” 

Daily Journal subscribers can read the full article here.  



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