United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Southern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR
TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER 
HONORABLE STEPHEN J. MURPHY, III
filed an eight-count complaint in Oakland County Circuit
Court concerning the title to a property in Farmington Hills
and related loan agreements. Defendants timely removed the
action but have not yet responded to it. Now before the Court
is Plaintiff's motion for a temporary restraining order
(TRO). The redemption period will expire today, so Plaintiff
asks the Court to enter a TRO tolling the period's
expiration. The Court will grant the motion.
general timeline of events leading up to this case is fairly
straightforward. Plaintiff purchased a home in Farmington
Hills in 2006 and obtained a warranty deed and a mortgage on
the home-a mortgage now assigned to Defendant Nationstar.
Nine years later, in October 2015, Plaintiff submitted an
application for a loan modification agreement to Nationstar.
But there was apparently a "glitch" in
Nationstar's system, so it told Plaintiff to submit
updated financial information. This began a 15-month cycle of
Plaintiff submitting requested information and new
applications, followed by Nationstar insisting that more
information or new applications were necessary. Nationstar
finally foreclosed on Plaintiff's home in January 2017
and Defendant Fannie Mae purchased the home at a
sheriff's sale the next month. The redemption period ends
on August 21, 2017.
Rule of Civil Procedure 65 allows a court to issue a
preliminary injunction or TRO. Fed.R.Civ.P. 65. Although a
court has the ability to issue a preliminary injunction, it
is considered "an extraordinary remedy which should be
granted only if the movant carries his or her burden of
proving that the circumstances clearly demand it."
Overstreet v. Lexington-Fayette Urban Cty.
Gov't, 305 F.3d 566, 573 (6th Cir. 2002).
When reviewing a motion for a preliminary injunction,
Court must consider four factors:
(1) whether the plaintiff has a strong likelihood of
succeeding on the merits;
(2) whether the plaintiff will suffer irreparable injury
absent the injunction;
(3) whether issuing the injunction will cause substantial
harm to others; and
(4) whether the public interest will be furthered by the
issuance of the injunction.
Gonzales v. Nat'l Bd. of Med. Examiners, 225
F.3d 620, 625 (6th Cir. 2000). Although the "failure to
show a likelihood of success on the merits is generally
fatal, " Powers v. Bank of Am., N.A., 63
F.Supp.3d 747, 751 (E.D. Mich. 2014) (citing
Overstreet, 305 F.3d at 573), "no single factor
will be determinative"-the Court balances all four.
Michigan Bell Tel. Co. v. Engler, 257 F.3d 587, 592
(6th Cir. 2001).
Michigan law, a mortgagor has six months to redeem his
property after a sheriff's sale. Mich. Comp. Laws §
600.3240(8). "Once this statutory redemption period
lapses, however, the mortgagor's 'right, title, and
interest in and to the property' are extinguished."
Conlin v. Mortg. Elec. Registration Sys., Inc., 714
F.3d 355, 359 (6th Cir. 2013) (quoting Piotrowski v.
State Land Office Bd., 302 Mich. 179, 187 (1942) and
citing Mich. Comp. Laws § 600.3236). And once the period
has expired, the door to redemption is firmly closed: courts
may set aside the foreclosure only upon a clear showing of
fraud or irregularity in the foreclosure procedure itself.
Id. at 359-60.
the expiration of the foreclosure period has so preclusive an
effect, trial courts can and do issue TROs which toll the
redemption period. See, e.g., Wells Fargo Bank,
NA v. SBC IV REO, LLC, 318 Mich.App. 72, 87-88 (2016);
Hodge v. Ulmer, No. 194439, 1997 WL 33343877, at *1
(Mich. Ct. App. Oct. 31, 1997); see also Whitehead v.
Fed. Nat. Mortg. Ass'n, No. 12-CV-13840, 2013 WL
5353050, at *5 (E.D. Mich. Sept. 24, 2013) (recognizing the
necessity of a post-removal TRO to avoid the preclusive
effect of the redemption period's expiration). Unlike the
high bar applicable to post-expiration relief, a
pre-expiration TRO may be entered for claims unrelated to the
foreclosure proceeding itself. See, e.g.,