When a property is foreclosed in Michigan, the home is sold to the highest bidder at a Sherrif's sale on the county courthouse steps. Most often, the buyer at the sherrif sale is the lender. The redemption period was determined by the wording in the mortgage the owner had on the home - usually 6 or 12 months. During that time, the home often sits vacant, or the owner may be continuing to market the home for sale, hoping to redeem it before the redemption period expires. Once it passes the redemption period, it is the property of the buyer from the Sheriff Sale. So, if the lender bought it, generally it is listed for sale as a foreclosure property, as they have proof of ownership via the Sheriff's Deed document, which is on file with the County Register of Deeds and gives them the right to sell it. For a new buyer, the Sheriff Deed is an ownership document in the chain of previous owners, and it is important to have the transaction processed through a title company, with an owner's policy guaranteeing the property is free of encumbrances. Sometimes foreclosure companies state right up front that the buyer has to purchase his owner's title insurance in addition to a mortgage title policy. In a regular buyer/seller transaction, generally the seller is responsible for buying the owner's title policy.