DLLR at Your Door - A Monthly Update from DLLR Secretary Thomas E. Perez

DLLR Emergency Regulation Adopted

On February 19, 2008 Maryland adopted a new emergency regulation requiring reports from mortgage loan servicers detailing their efforts to help homeowners facing default and foreclosure. Maryland is the second state in the nation to require this data (California was the first).

The Emergency Servicer Reporting Regulation requires servicers to provide DLLR with lists of homeowners who have adjustable rate mortgages that are about to reset to higher interest rates. DLLR will use this information to reach out to those homeowners, providing them with information on available resources.

“Everyone in the mortgage industry has said they want to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. We want to ensure their actions are matching their words,” said Secretary Perez. “This data collection will shine a bright light on servicers, and will help DLLR help homeowners.”

Click here for Emergency Regulation

4th Quarter Foreclosure Update

Foreclosed onIn the fourth quarter, Prince George’s, Montgomery, Washington and Worcester Counties saw the number of foreclosure events double from previous quarter. In other counties, such as Kent, Garret and Somerset, the numbers nearly tripled. Statewide, Maryland saw 9,722 foreclosures, compared to 7,001 in the previous quarter, an increase of 2,721 foreclosure events statewide.

“The numbers once again underscore the need to enact the Governor's reform package as soon as possible,” said Secretary Perez. “For thousands of Marylanders, the American dream is being transformed into the American nightmare.”

According to RealtyTrac, one of the major providers of property foreclosure data, Prince George’s County continues to have the highest number of foreclosure events, with 2,732. Montgomery County has the second highest number of events, with 1,310, while Baltimore City ranked third with 1,268 events. Click to review graph.

Governor O’Malley has proposed sweeping reforms for the mortgage industry, including raising the bar for licensing, tightening lending standards and eliminating defective products from the market in Maryland. This and the newly adopted DLLR emergency regulation, which requires loan servicers to report monthly to DLLR all loss mitigation and loan modification efforts, are proposals that represent a comprehensive effort to combat rising foreclosure rates and protect future Maryland homeowners.

Loan ServiceRs Agree to Work with State to Find Solutions
Governor’s Loan Servicers Meeting a Success

In response to the 4th quarter numbers, Governor Martin O’Malley called an emergency meeting with mortgage loan servicers to set a standard for consistent, timely and sustainable loss mitigation services for Maryland homeowners. The work-session focused on real solutions to the foreclosure crisis and protecting middle-class families from losing their homes.

Secretary Perez called the meeting a success. “The foreclosure crisis requires an all-hands-on-deck enterprise that will only be accomplished with the cooperation of servicers, nonprofit housing counselors, state and local government,” said Secretary Perez. “We made significant progress toward that end during the meeting.”

The meeting concluded with commitments from the servicers to:

  1. Provide information within ten days about what is required from borrowers to access real loss mitigation solutions.
  2. Reconvene in three weeks to continue work on a streamline triage system for Maryland homeowners.
  3. Participate in a summit to train housing counselors in the requirements for loss mitigation.

The servicers that participated in the Governor’s Servicers Meeting include:

Countrywide
Ocwen
CitiFinancial/CitiGroup, Inc.
AmeriNational
GMAC ResCap
Option One
PHH Mortgage
Indy Mac

Wells Fargo and Litton Loan Servicing were unable to attend today’s meeting but committed to the effort.

DLLR Immediately Suspends Eleven Maryland Mortgage Broker Licenses

Secretary Perez commended Financial Regulation Commissioner Sarah Bloom Raskin for her swift action in the summary suspension of eleven Maryland mortgage broker licenses.

Commissioner Raskin determined that Florida based Superior Mortgage Group, LLC was in violation of several statutes of the Maryland Mortgage Lender Law, and immediately suspended all eleven licenses. Commissioner Raskin’s action requires that Superior suspend any further business prior to a hearing.

Gloria Freifeld, owner of Superior Mortgage Group, LLC, had applied for and received all eleven licenses between May of 2006 and October 2007. The Financial Regulation Enforcement Unit received specific information alleging that Gloria Freifeld had knowingly falsified information on her application for the licenses.

The investigation revealed that Ms. Freifeld misrepresented her experience in the mortgage lending business and did not qualify as a broker. Furthermore, the investigation uncovered that Ms. Freifeld made material misstatements regarding her experience and qualifications on the Maryland mortgage lender application. While the summary suspension of Superior’s Maryland Mortgage broker licenses are immediate, Superior may request a hearing within the statutory time limit. A request for a hearing, however, will not stay the summary suspension of the licenses.

Governor's Workforce Investment Board

Governor'S Workforce Investment Board Hosts Summit 2008

Governor's Workforce Investment Board Executive Director Eric Seleznow emceed the eventThe Governor's Workforce Summit 2008, hosted by the Governor's Workforce Investment Board (GWIB), took place on February 8 at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab and generated new ideas and workforce policies for Maryland’s future. The Summit brought together more than 500 Maryland stakeholders from business, education, government and nonprofits to discuss ways of creating a streamlined and aligned workforce system that will keep Maryland competitive in
the 21st Century.

The first roundtable of the Summit included discussions on the alignment of the education system’s mission, goals and outcomes with Maryland’s economic and workforce needs. Panelists in the second roundtable discussed strategies for growing a skilled workforce including the retention of college graduates, immigrant workers, untapped populations, and the roles of philanthropy, business and government.

Secretary Perez addresses the panel"The summit focused on Maryland’s economic competitiveness in the global economy, while ensuring that all Marylanders have the opportunity to participate and succeed in the 21st century workforce," said GWIB Executive Director Eric Seleznow. "The Summit was designed to spark innovation and new ideas as the Governor develops workforce polices for Maryland’s future."

A report will be prepared on the results and recommendations from the Summit.

Division of Workforce Development

Workforce Creation Strategy

Workforce CreationGovernor Martin O’Malley was joined by the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas Perez; Department of Business and Economic Development Secretary David Edgerley; Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services Secretary Gary Maynard; Department of Juvenile Services Secretary Donald DeVore; Department of Disabilities Secretary Catherine Raggio; and Department Human Resources Secretary Brenda Donald on February 6th, as these agencies continue to collaborate with each other to create and expand programs to bring more services to more Marylanders.

The Governor highlighted current, ongoing and future efforts to build a comprehensive workforce creation system to provide more opportunities for all Marylanders and secure Maryland’s position in an increasingly competitive global economy.

Workforce Creation efforts underway in Maryland include:

  • DLLR and DHR embarked upon a novel effort to promote coordination between local workforce one-stops and DSS offices. The agencies are hammering out the details of a competitive process that will direct more than $4 million in DHR Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) funds through DLLR’s one-stop workforce system to support job training services for foster children and TANF recipients and help get them in the workforce.
  • DLLR, the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services and the Independent Electrical Contractors Association have partnered to launch an electrical contractor construction training program for incarcerated women at the Jessup Women’s Correctional Facility.
  • DLLR and DJS have forged an alliance to create a construction worker pre-apprenticeship training program at the Victor Cullen Center in Frederick County. Other DLLR/DJS partnerships will include connecting DJS releasees with local one-stop systems and screening DJS participants for inclusion into the new DLLR/TANF youth-services programs for youth in foster care.
  • Governor O’Malley has introduced legislation to move responsibility for adult education programs to DLLR – an effort to create synergies between our workforce one-stop system, community colleges, nonprofit providers, state agencies and the business community. SB 203/HB 367 transfers oversight of adult education and correctional education programs from the Maryland State Department of Education to DLLR’s Division of Workforce Development.

Secretary Tom Perez, along with Governor O'Malley's Legislative Director Joe Bryce, testified on behalf of the administration’s adult education restructuring bill before the Senate Finance Committee (SB 203) on February 14th and before the House Joint Committee (HB 367) on February 20th. Supporting testimony came from non-profit organizations, business leaders, community college's and correction facilities.

Click here for copy of testimony

Division of Labor and Industry

Seguridad en la Construcción

Seguidad en la construccion

The staff at Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) held a full-day workshop for Spanish-speaking employers and employees. This workshop, which was free and conducted entirely in Spanish, covered typical hazards on construction sites including the Maryland-specific requirements.

Este curso es en Español y cubrira peligros encotrados en sitios de construcción incluyendo los requisitos especificos del estado de Maryland.

“Our goal is to reduce the number of injuries and illnesses among Maryland's Hispanic population,” said Roger Campbell, assistant commissioner for MOSH. “We need to ensure employers and employees are being trained properly and understand the basics of construction site safety.

More workshops conducted entirely in Spanish are planned. For more information, and to register for the free workshops contact MOSH at 410-880-4970.

Para información adicional y para registrarse, usted puede contactar MOSH al 410-880-4970

DLLR Observes Black History Month DLLR Observes Black History Month

This is DLLR choir's 17th years of participation in the Black History program.

The Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation held their annual Black History program at City Temple of Baltimore Baptist. This year's program continued the Deputy Secretary Leonard Howie, IIIagency's 22- year trend with an outstanding program commemorating the legacy and contributions of African Americans. Event Coordinator and Acting Director of the Office of Equal Opportunity and Program Equity Adam Ortiz, welcomed DLLR administrators, staff and guests in preparation for an afternoon of music from the DLLR Choir and inspiring words from Deputy Secretary, Leonard Howie, III.

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State of Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation
500 N. Calvert Street / Baltimore, Maryland 21202