to protect homeowners
DLLR Secretary Perez applauded Governor Martin O'Malley's new
legislation, emergency regulation and initiatives to help thousands
of Maryland homeowners at risk of losing their homes. The goal
is to prevent future generations of homeowners from losing their
homes due to foreclosure as a result of the sub-prime mortgage
crisis facing our entire nation today.
The Governor was joined by Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown,
Secretary Thomas Perez and Department of Housing and Community
Development Secretary Raymond Skinner, along with local elected
officials and community leaders in Prince George's County. The
purpose of the event was to roll out a comprehensive package of
initiatives and reforms aimed at addressing the drastic rise in
foreclosures in Maryland.
From the 3rd Quarter of 2006 to the 3rd Quarter of 2007, foreclosure
events in Maryland increased by 639 percent. The climb is expected
to continue this year as many of the adjustable rate mortgages
issued in recent years reset to higher interest rates. It is estimated
that 33,000 Maryland homeowners are expected to face interest
rate resets this year.
The package of initiatives and the emergency regulation will
make Maryland the second state in the country to require loan
servicers to file detailed monthly disclosure reports about their
loss mitigation and loan modification efforts. The reports will
outline the precise nature and extent of the actions being taken
to assist homeowners who have defaulted on loans.
"There are thousands of Marylanders on the verge of foreclosure
and we need information now to learn what actions services are
taking to prevent foreclosure," said Secretary Perez. "Data
collection and reporting are critical accountability tools, which
only one other state, California, has in place."
Governor O'Malley's legislative package and regulatory proposals
1. Improving the regulation of mortgage industry professionals
and reform lending practices by:
- Banning pre-payment penalties for sub
- Assuring a borrower's ability to repay
a loan and verify sources of income; and
- Increasing the mortgage licensing requirements,
including the surety bond requirement for mortgage lender licensees
and a minimum net worth requirement.
2. Create a criminal mortgage fraud statute that covers all potential
actors engaged in mortgage fraud.
3. Modify the 2005 Protection for Homeowners in Foreclosure Act
(PHIFA) by banning the conveyance of real property in the foreclosure
4. Reform the foreclosure process by:
- Requiring a lender to wait 90 days after
default before filing the foreclosure action;
- Sending a uniform Notice of Intent to
Foreclose to the homeowner 45 days prior to filing an action;
- Requiring personal service to notify
a homeowner of impending foreclosure and requiring a minimum
of 45 days between service and sale.
5. Reform lending practices in Maryland by:
- Requiring a duty of good faith and fair
dealing for mortgage industry professionals;
- Requiring brokers and lenders to show
a reasonable net tangible benefit for borrowers when refinancing;
- Tracking rates of default and foreclosure
of mortgage industry professionals; and
- Strengthening the experience requirement
to obtain a license.
The package of initiatives also includes the "Bridge to
HOPE" Loan Program, which provides small gap loans at zero
percent interest to homeowners facing difficulty, giving them
time to get back on their feet or find a solution. The statewide
program will be administered by the Maryland Department of Housing
and Community Development's Community Development Administration.
On January 16, 2008, Secretary Tom Perez testified before the
House Economic Matters Committee on Mortgage Foreclosure. Click
here to read the Secretary's testimony.
Preservation Plan for Maryland Tour
Secretary Tom Perez began a “Homeownership Preservation
Plan for Maryland” tour in Prince Georges County on January
3, 2008. The town-hall style meeting was held at the Henry Wise
Jr. High School in Upper Marlboro.
A number of positive changes were suggested to help deal with
the mortgage foreclosure issue head-on. The idea of gathering
again in the near future with a group of faith-based leaders is
a suggestion Secretary Perez whole heartedly supports. Secretary
Perez also agreed that a concerted effort to educate the senior
population is needed. All agreed there is an urgent need to get
to the homeowners before they end up on the County Court steps,
and is one of the most challenging concerns. The Prince George’s
attendees are all willing to gather again in the next few months
to continue their dialog.
Maryland Senator Ulysses Currie
Secretary Tom Perez
Secretary Ray Skinner – Department of Housing and Community
Cora Ganzglass - Executive Director Coalition for Homeownership
Preservation in Prince Georges County
Mosi Harrington- Director- Home Investment Partnership, Inc.
Tommy Thompson – Prince George’s Housing Commission
Samuel Dean – Prince George's County Council
The Honorable Herman C. Dawson - Judge, Prince George's County
Circuit Court, 7th Judicial Circuit
Distinguished audience members included:
Delegate Michael L. Vaughn
Delegate Aisha N. Braveboy
Senator Nathaniel Exum
Delegate Doyle L. Niemann
Prince George's Council Member Ingrid Turner
Madeline E. Richardson, Mayor of Fairmount Heights
Bill Gardiner, Mayor of Hyattsville
Adam Ortiz, Mayor of Edmonston
"Homeownership Preservation Plan for Maryland” tour
will travel to Western Maryland, the Eastern Shore and Southern
Maryland in the near future.
Bill 203/ House Bill 367- Workforce Creation and Adult Education
The quality of Maryland’s
current and future workforce is vital to the State's economy.
currently enjoys a healthy, diverse business climate, many Maryland
industries are facing worker and skills shortages. The situation
is exacerbated by the approaching retirement of close to one-sixth
of Maryland’s population and the job growth associated
with the Base Realignment and Closure process. Maryland’s
continued economic success is directly linked to our ability
to create and continuously develop a highly-skilled workforce.
- There are nearly 750,000 Marylanders
with limited literacy skills, no high school diploma or ineffective
English language skills in need of services.
- The 2003-2004 Maryland Adult Education
Score Card shows that only three to five percent of Marylanders
in need of adult education receive it.
- Currently, adult education programs
in Maryland are not fully progressing sufficient numbers of
students to the post high school skill levels necessary to
compete in today and tomorrow’s economy.
Recognizing the importance of linking adult education and
workforce creation and aligning those programs with the needs
of businesses, a number of states have transferred responsibility
for adult education from their K-12 systems to state workforce
- 19 states now have adult education
programs housed either in workforce development or in a higher
- Six states have integrated adult education
with workforce development, including Alaska, Michigan, New
Jersey, South Dakota, Tennessee and Arkansas.
- In local jurisdictions within Maryland,
the distinct trend has been to move adult education away from
K-12 and into community colleges, where services are better
aligned with career training and other workforce services.
Senate Bill 203/House Bill 367 will ensure
that our system meets the workforce needs of Maryland’s
employers by aligning adult education and literacy programs,
career preparation, postsecondary education and workforce development.
This legislation moves responsibility
for administering and supervising policy and funding for adult
education and literacy, currently a function of MSDE, to the
Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The Adult Education and Literacy Services
Office will be part of DLLR’s Division of Workforce Development.
Under DLLR’s leadership, this new alignment will:
- Serve more people through more programs
- Create synergies between our workforce
one-stop system, community colleges, nonprofit providers,
state agencies and the business community
- Ensure a stronger evaluation component
for adult education programs
- Provide career development opportunities
for adult education instructional and administrative staff
- Streamline accountability for our
adult education system
- Build a seamless system of adult
education in Maryland that strengthens the case for more funding
DLLR’s goal is to shape a new vision for adult education
in Maryland that has the support of the many stakeholder groups
around the State while recognizing regional differences.
The new system will continue to serve everyone but ensure that
the pursuit of lifelong learning includes access to postsecondary
educational opportunities and a clear pathway into Maryland’s
DLLR will establish strong accountability standards and align
them effectively to assure that adults can transition among
various levels of English for Speakers of Other Languages, adult
literacy, GED, career preparation, and our postsecondary system.
DLLR will identify best practices around the country to ensure
that Maryland leads the way in the education of our adult population.
DLLR will also promote programs that provide financial literacy,
through our Division of Financial Regulation and will partner
with state agencies and nonprofits working to enhance the health
literacy of Maryland adults.
The community colleges have the potential to become local resource
centers for adult education and workforce training, and have
already been stepping up to this challenge across the State.
Under DLLR’s leadership, the community colleges will
also help provide curriculum alignment and professional development
for adult education professionals.
O'MALLEY'S FY09 BUDGET
Secretary Thomas E. Perez remarked on how
Marylanders will benefit from Governor O’Malley’s
vision of Growing Maryland’s Middle Class through Workforce
Creation and new laws to protect Maryland employees.
“The Governor saw our need for additional resources and
answered with additional dollars to ensure services that protect
the consumer,” said Secretary Perez. “We will be able
to retain experienced bank examiners, enforce the Living Wage
Law, provide employment training to better prepare for Base Realignment
and Closure and serve our customers on the Eastern Shore with
a new Call Center in Salisbury.”
The Division of Financial Regulation’s
budget totals $8.4 million, an increase of $900,000 over the FY
2008 appropriation. The increase to the budget will immediately
address the recruitment and retention of bank examiners, who play
a critical role in enforcing laws protecting consumers against
The Division of Labor and Industry’s budget
saw an increase of 5.2% over FY 2008’s appropriation and
totals $15.3 million. $200,000 will go to the implementation of
the nation’s first “Living Wage Law” and enforcement
of the existing Prevailing Wage Law, including funds to support
four new wage investigators.
The Division of Workforce Development has a
budget that totals $49.7 million, an increase of $3.2 million.
The increase is attributable to additional federal funds received
for Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) planning activities.
With 1,500 calls a week for claim purposes expected, the Division
of Unemployment Insurance will receive $744,000 in the
capital budget for equipping a new Unemployment Insurance Call
Center on the Eastern Shore. It is scheduled to open July 2009.
This new unemployment insurance office, one of six, will process
initial unemployment claims and adjudicate claim disputes. UI
is funded at $53.9 million.
Funding for the Division of Racing totals $5.8
The Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing
is funded at $10.4 million.
and Safety Training Seminars for Maryland Employees and Employers
Maryland Occupational Safety and Health (MOSH) Continues Outreach
The following health and safety training seminars will be held
at the MOSH Training and Education Office located at 312 Marshall
Avenue in Laurel, Maryland:
Protection - February 12, 2008 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
- February 14, 2008 from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm
en La Construccion (Construction Site Safety) - February
21, 2008 from 8:30 am to 3:30 pm
Exposure to Noise - February 26, 2008 from 8:30 am to
An additional class is being held at the SHA, located at 5111
Buckeystown Pike, Frederick, Maryland.
Site Safety Scaffolding - February 27, 2008 from 8:30 am
to 3:30 pm
“The MOSH Outreach Training Program is designed to reduce
occupational injuries and illnesses through education,” said
Labor and Industry Commissioner Ron DeJuliis.
MOSH Assistant Commissioner Roger Campbell added, “Our safety
and health programs are geared towards raising the awareness of
attendees while providing an overview of the topic.”
Attendance at these sessions does not substitute for training
required by OSHA/MOSH standards.
To register, please visit the website at MOSH
or call 410-880-4970 ext.335.
Bowie Race Training
Center Breaths a Sigh of Relief
time of year, horses are susceptible to the Equine Herpesvirus
everywhere, not just at racetracks. But, one case of the Equine
Herpesvirus was suspected at the Bowie Race Training Center. The
animal tested negative for the disease. The disease can be devastating
and sometimes fatal. Equine Herpesvirus (EHV-1) and (EHV-4), both
respiratory diseases, affect the horse population world wide.
The EHV-1 neurological viral strain is more infrequent, which
causes the most concern since the outcome of the disease may require
that the animal be destroyed. The clinical signs are loss of appetite,
fever and lack of control of the rear legs. This disease is highly
contagious and is spread by nasal discharge, aborted fetuses,
placentas, or placenta fluids. Upon observation of clinical signs
the suspect animal is quarantined, nasal swabs and blood specimens
are collected for analysis. Bio-security protocols are put into
place to help prevent the spread of the disease. This disease
is a “reportable” disease which means a veterinarian
who suspects an infection must contact the State Veterinarian
at Department of Agriculture of their
500 N. Calvert Street / Baltimore, Maryland 21202