Statement from Governor Martin O'Malley on Congressman Cummings' Request for Halt in Foreclosures


ANNAPOLIS, MD (October 4, 2010) - Governor Martin O'Malley issued this statement today in support of Congressman Cummings' request for a halt on foreclosures in Maryland. In addition, Governor O'Malley has signed a joint letter with Congressman Cummings and Attorney General Gansler (PDF document, download Adobe Acrobat for free) calling on Maryland mortgage servicers to halt current and future foreclosure proceedings until Maryland homeowners can be assured they're being treated fairly:

"I want to thank Congressman Cummings for championing this important issue, and acting as a voice in Congress for too many homeowners who find themselves at the mercy of faceless mortgage giants. In Maryland, we've implemented some of the most sweeping foreclosure prevention laws in the country, putting public resources on the side of Maryland families who are facing the loss of their home. In recent days, several servicers, including JP Morgan Chase, Bank of America and GMAC/Ally Finance, have acknowledged that they have failed to follow proper procedures by filing affidavits in foreclosure cases without adequate personal knowledge of the underlying cases, trampling laws that were designed specifically to protect homeowners in default. They have recently announced suspension of foreclosures in 23 states.

"Given that these servicers and their competitors operate nationwide, we are extremely concerned that our citizens may have been equally harmed through similar practices. While we explore the legal avenues available to the state, I'm joining Congressman Cummings and Attorney General Gansler in calling on these and other servicers to suspend both new and ongoing foreclosure actions in Maryland until they review their practices in Maryland and can ensure that Marylanders are not being mistreated."

A copy of the letters sent to mortgage servicers can be found here.

As a result of foreclosure prevention reform initiated by the O'Malley-Brown Administration, Maryland's HOPE Hotline has counseled more than 46,000 families facing foreclosure, with nearly 14,000 of those as positive outcomes. The HOPE Network has 28 housing counseling agencies assisting homeowners facing foreclosure. Maryland's foreclosure mediation law, which gives every Maryland family facing foreclosure the right to request a face-to-face mediation session with their lender, is now in place and families are already beginning to take advantage of it.