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Case Studies

Pro Bono Spotlight: Bodman Attorneys Help Detroit Resident Keep His Home

Bodman’s Alexandra Dieck, Sinéad Redmond, Justin Bagdady, and Jeffrey May recently helped secure a legal victory for a long-time Detroit resident in his battle to keep both his home and his land contract from an opportunistic seller.

Justin and Jeff represented our client, Mr. L, on a pro bono basis in summary proceedings and filed a motion for summary disposition to dismiss the summary proceedings on several grounds, including invalid assignment of the land contract to the new seller. They also argued that the doctrine of laches applied to the new seller because he inherited the old owner’s repeated decision not to place Mr. L in default in 2019-2020 as well as his continued acceptance of monthly payments in 2021 and 2022. The court, instead of issuing a ruling, gave the parties a few months to try to find a resolution.

Alex and Sinéad took over and worked with opposing counsel to draft a new, revised land contract that wipes away the past defaults, enshrines protections in the event of late or missed payments for Mr. L, and guarantees Mr. L will receive the maximum statutory redemption period if he is ever declared to be in forfeiture of the land contract in the future. If all goes well, Mr. L should have 100% ownership of the house in under five years and he can finally enjoy his home and a good night’s rest.

Thank you to Vincent Tilford, President and CEO of Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation, who referred Mr. L to Bodman. Mr. L is also a client of the Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation, a Detroit-based nonprofit that supports older adults through social services and creative aging/wellness opportunities.

As Mr. Tilford said, “Far too often, there are people, companies and others who scam and take advantage of seniors. The Luella Hannan Memorial Foundation strives to be that trusted other so we can help our older adults when they have no one else to turn to. And when there are complex situations like Mr. L’s, we turn to our partners like Bodman who we trust to make a difference.”