Foreclosure Prevention Information:
Since the beginning of the current foreclosure crisis,
Maryland has fought to preserve homeownership for the residents
of our State. Maryland laws are intended to protect you
from fraud and to ensure that foreclosure is a last resort,
but you must act immediately!
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.
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.
Studies show that homeowners who work with non-profit housing
- are more likely to keep their home,
- are more likely to receive a loan modification that
lowers their mortgage payment and/or interest rate,
- are likely to receive a more favorable loan modification
than homeowners that don't work with counselors, and
- the sooner homeowners work with a counselor, the better
To find a non-profit counselor near you, call the Maryland
HOPE Hotline at 877-462-7555 or visit MD HOPE.
If you have recently lost your job, you may qualify for
unemployment insurance. Please visit MDunemployment.com
Making Home Affordable
President Obama has implemented the Making Home Affordable
(MHA) program, which is helping millions of Americans lower
their mortgage payments so they can stay in their homes.
For more information about the MHA program and eligibility
Making Home Affordable or
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
The Public Justice Center.
Since 2008, Maryland has enacted several statutes designed to combat the foreclosure crisis. 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. In July 2010 a new law
went into effect which 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
may be discussed.
There are two types of foreclosure mediation. Homeowners
only have one chance to attend foreclosure mediation so
it's important to understand your options.
Pre-file Mediation - mediation before a foreclosure
action is filed in court and not required by Maryland law.
If your mortgage company is going to offer pre-file mediation
the notice will be included with your Notice of Intent to
Foreclose (see below for a timeline description).
Post-file Mediation - mediation after a foreclosure
action has been filed in court and is required by Maryland
law if you have not participated in pre-file mediation.
Your option to request post-file mediation will be included
with paperwork after your case has been filed with the courts.
A Notice of Intent to foreclose (NOI) must be sent
to the homeowner 45 days before the official court document
is filed in the court house. The NOI must include the following:
a loss mitigation application, information about housing
counseling, and details about possible options available.
If your mortgage company is offering pre-file mediation,
the option to participate will be included with your NOI.
Your mortgage company does not have to provide this option.
91 days after default:
This is the earliest date that a foreclosure can be filed
with the courts. The foreclosure filing is called an Order
to Docket (OTD). The OTD must include one of the following
A preliminary loss mitigation affidavit will be
filed if the mortgage company has not started or completed
the review of your loan for foreclosure alternatives known
as loss mitigation. An application for loss mitigation will
be included. Complete and return the application immediately;
A final loss mitigation affidavit will be filed
if the mortgage company believes it has no available alternatives
to foreclosure. This affidavit will come with a Request
for Foreclosure Mediation. You have only 25 days to request
post-file foreclosure mediation after you receive these
documents. To request post-file foreclosure mediation,
you must send the completed form with a non-refundable fee
of $50 to the Circuit Court.
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
For more information on the Maryland Foreclosure
Mediation Law, visit MD
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.
Avoid Becoming a
Victim: Mortgage Fraud and Scams
If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
The foreclosure crisis has led to an increase in foreclosure-related
scams, including those that involve so-called loss-mitigation
consultants and foreclosure rescue consultants. If you feel
you may be the target or victim of a mortgage modification
scam or of foreclosure fraud, trust your instincts and seek
help. File a complaint
with the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation.
For tips on spotting scam artists, visit the Federal
Trade Commission's website on foreclosure rescue scams.
Maryland law is designed to protect homeowners from unscrupulous
individuals wishing to take advantage of those in danger
of losing their homes. KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!
- There is never a fee to get assistance or information
about the "Making Home Affordable Plan" from your lender
or a HUD-approved housing counselor. Approved, non-profit
counselors can be accessed through 1-877-462-7555.
- Beware of any person or organization asking you to
pay up-front fees in exchange for providing mortgage
counseling services or modification of a delinquent loan.
Do not pay - walk away.
- Do not believe guarantees. A reputable counselor
will not guarantee that they can stop the foreclosure
process, regardless of your circumstances. Working with
a legitimate counselor can certainly increase your chances
of keeping your home -- but be wary of people who promise
a sure thing. Again, first get the details of your transaction
and any related promises in writing before you enter into
- Beware of anyone who says they can "save" your home
if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization
or individual unless you are working directly with your
mortgage lender, or with your attorney.
- Never submit your mortgage payments to anyone other
than your mortgage lender without your mortgage lender's
For more information visit: Loan
Modification Scam Alert
Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) brochures