August 13, 2014 at 6:28 pm

Michigan congressional candidate Dave Trott selling stake in family law firm

Dave Trott (Jose Juarez / Special to Detroit News)

Lansing— Dave Trott is attempting to shed the “foreclosure attorney” label slapped on him by opponents one week after winning a Republican congressional primary and smooth the way for potential victory in a GOP-leaning district.

Trott’s campaign confirmed Wednesday he is selling his stake in the law firm his father started, Trott & Trott PC, which processes home foreclosures for banks and lending institutions.

The Birmingham businessman sold his interest in the Farmington Hills-based law firm to fellow partners Jeffrey Raff, Marcy Ford and Jeff Weisserman.

Trott defeated U.S. Rep. Kerry Bentivolio, R-Milford, in the Aug. 5 primary in the 11th Congressional District, which comprises parts of Oakland and Wayne counties.

As a candidate for Congress, Trott has been labeled Metro Detroit’s “foreclosure king” because of the huge volume of work the law firm did during the economic recession processing foreclosure notices for homeowners who fell behind on their mortgage payments.

“I have not played a substantive role in either the leadership or operations of the law firm for several years,” Trott said in a statement.

The financial terms of the sale of the private business were not disclosed.

The law firm is just one component of Trott’s family of companies related to the real estate industry and foreclosure-processing business.

Trott also owns Attorneys Title insurance company in Farmington Hills and is a part-owner or partner in companies that develop foreclosure-related software, publish foreclosure notices and collect debts. He also is a partner in the real estate brokerage Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel and Dietz Trott Sports & Entertainment Management.

No decision has been made on Trott’s future role in his other companies, campaign manager Megan Piwowar said Wednesday.

“Dave is focused on the campaign and proud of the 1,800 jobs he created and saved,” Piwowar said in a statement.

Trott’s father, Robert, founded the law firm in 1976. He joined the family business in 1985 after graduating from Duke University’s law school.

Dave Trott poured $2.4 million of his own personal fortune into beating Bentivolio for and will face Democrat Bobby McKenzie, a former State Department counter-terrorism analyst from Canton Township in the November general election.

National Democrats and McKenzie have signaled they will continue to target the foreclosure aspect of Trott’s past business dealings.

“This is a guy who spent his entire adult life and professional career making a fortune off of the misfortune of ordinary Americans,” McKenzie said in an interview Wednesday. “The fact he’s trying to shed himself of this days after the primary is incredible.”
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