Since the national foreclosure crisis began in 2007, Governor O'Malley has aggressively worked to save Marylanders' homes. Maryland has been at the forefront of efforts to combat the crisis and preserve homeownership through a package of new laws and regulations, resources for housing counselors, recruitment and training of pro bono lawyers and extensive outreach.
- Help for Homeowners
- The Foreclosure Process and Mediation
- Avoid Becoming a Victim: Mortgage Fraud and Scams
Help for Homeowners
For Marylanders facing foreclosure, there is help available.
Homeowners who are late on their mortgage payments or fear they may become unable to make payments in the near future should contact their lender immediately.
Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program
The Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development has received funding from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to assist homeowners who are facing foreclosure due to involuntary unemployment or loss of significant income. For more information, please visit MD Hope.
Making Home Affordable
President Obama has implemented the Making Home Affordable (MHA) program, which will help millions of Americans lower their mortgage payments so they can stay in their homes. For more information about the MHA program and eligibility requirements, visit: Making Home Affordable or Financial Stability.
Help with Utilities
For questions about your utility bills or to seek assistance with disputing bills, visit The Office of People's Counsel.
Renters facing eviction due to home in foreclosure
If you are renting, but know that the home you rent is in foreclosure, visit The Public Justice Center.
HUD-approved, non-profit housing counselors are trained and certified to assist homeowners at risk of or facing foreclosure. Counselors are available to meet face-to-face or via phone to discuss your situation, evaluate your budget for a possible solution, and act as a liaison between you and your mortgage company.
To find a HUD approved, non-profit counselor near you, call the Maryland HOPE Hotline at 877-462-7555 or visit MD HOPE.
The Foreclosure Process and Mediation
Since 2008, Governor O'Malley has signed into law a series of statutes designed to combat the foreclosure crisis facing Marylanders. These new laws have improved the foreclosure process by giving homeowners earlier notice of a possible foreclosure, and by extending the time before which a foreclosure sale can occur. This gives homeowners more time to resolve their hardship before the house is sold. The most recent foreclosure law went into effect on July 1, 2010 and provides a mediation option designed to give homeowners an opportunity to meet with their mortgage company and a neutral third party to ensure that alternatives to foreclosure have been considered and evaluated. Alternatives could include a loan modification if the homeowner is eligible, or if the home cannot be saved, a short sale or deed-in-lieu could be discussed.
Notice of Intent to Foreclose must be mailed at least 45 days before filing a foreclosure action in court. The notice must include specific information about the mortgage, an application for loss mitigation and instructions to complete the application.
A foreclosure action (order to docket) cannot be filed with the courts until your loan is 90 days past due. The order to docket (OTD) is a large set of documents which has to include some of the documents from settlement, the notice of intent to foreclose and either a preliminary loss mitigation affidavit or final loss mitigation affidavit.
Preliminary loss mitigation affidavit will be filed with the OTD if the mortgage company has not reviewed your loan for loss mitigation. It is very important to send this document to your mortgage company as soon as possible.
If you do not file a request for mediation, the auction can take place 148 days after default. (The earliest day for auction is 213 days from default IF mediation is requested.)
A final loss mitigation affidavit will be filed if the mortgage company feels they have exhausted all efforts to provide loss mitigation. They have to send you a copy of the Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit as well as a "Request for Mediation." You will only have 15 days to request mediation after you receive these documents. To request mediation you have to send the completed form with a non-refundable fee of $50 to the Circuit Court.
If you do not file a request for mediation, the auction can take place 135 days after default. (The earliest day for auction is 185 days from default IF mediation is requested.)
If you request mediation:
Your request will be forwarded to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH), where an administrative judge will mediate the case within 60 days after receipt of your request from the court. The judge cannot make decisions, but can act as a neutral third party in an effort to reach a mutual resolution.
For more information on the Maryland Foreclosure Mediation Law, visit MD HOPE.
Please seek assistance from a HUD approved, non-profit housing counselor.
To find a counselor near you, visit MD HOPE or call 877-462-7555.
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