Michigan Attorney General wants reform for probate practice

WXYZPublished: September 7, 2017
Published: September 7, 2017

A 7 Action News Investigation is prompting new legislation in Lansing.  Now Attorney General Bill Schuette is throwing his support behind the proposed new laws that will reform the Public Administrator law. The 7 Investigators have been exposing a disturbing pattern of some public officials and real estate brokers taking over probate estates after someone dies, often leaving the rightful heirs with very little. “We want to make sure that if you lose a loved one, you aren’t placed in jeopardy again of losing the home you live in, running into financial difficulties.  That’s not good practice,” said Andrea Bitely, Communications Director for Schuette.   “The Public Administrators that have previously ignored the rules that we put in place have either resigned or been terminated.” Macomb County Real Estate Broker Ralph Roberts had been teaming up with some Attorney General-appointed lawyers called County Public Administrators.  The Public Administrators and Roberts’ company called Probate Asset Recovery billed the estates for thousands of dollars, plus Roberts got the real estate commissions when he sold the homes.  Documents obtained by the 7 Investigators showed that Probate Asset Recovery often billed for 1/3 of the value of the estate. Many of the homes were in foreclosure or behind on taxes.

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