LANSING, Mich. (11/6/13)--The Michigan House passed a Michigan Credit Union League-supported two-bill package to combat the theft of scrap metal from foreclosed properties.
The legislation would require purchasers to wait three days to pay individuals who sell catalytic converters, copper wire and air conditioners, which are frequently stolen items. HB 4593 also requires additional documentation for scrap metal purchases (Michigan Monitor Nov. 4).
The league has lobbied for the legislation because credit unions have reported recurring instances of metal theft from foreclosed and branch properties in certain areas.
Scrap metal loss is a major problem for credit unions because in addition to any costs to repair the damage from the removal of the metal, homeowners must pay to replace the stolen metals to return the property to sellable condition. Meanwhile, the property is still at risk for future theft, the league said.
MCUL will continue to monitor the package as it moves through the state Senate. Additional bills may be added to the package in the Senate, the league said.
The legislation may become part of an umbrella initiative on blight, which includes stronger regulation of the scrap metal industry to prevent the stripping of metal from residential property, procedures to identify abandoned property and expedite its foreclosure, and possible reforms to the foreclosure process (News Now Feb. 2).