COVID-19 Information Update
Foreclosures and Ejectments can resume on July 25, 2020, meaning these matters can be heard beginning on July 25, 2020. New cases that are filed after May 22, 2020 will be stayed upon filing until July 25, 2020. There are certain new requirements, such as a verified Declaration of Exemption from Moratorium requirement.
Governor Hogan's Executive Order requires certain notices to borrowers until the state of emergency is lifted. For properties with a federal mortgage loan, the servicer must provide the borrower with notice that the borrower has the right to request a loan forbearance, and the loan servicer has complied with the CARES Act. For properties with a non-federal mortgage loan, the loan servicer must notify the borrower, in writing, that the borrower may request a forbearance of up to 180 days IF the borrower is experiencing hardship due to the COVID-19 health emergency.
NOTE: The Public Service Commission has extended the prohibition against terminations of gas, electric, and water utilities through November 15, 2020. However, there are some steps you must take. Read the Press Release for more information.
A foreclosure is the legal means by which a lender can repossess your home. These state and federal resources are for homeowners and do not cover renters. If you are a renter, see how foreclosure affects tenants.
The Maryland HOPE Initiative (Maryland Home Owners Preserving Equity) is the state's main website for providing resources for homeowners needing help with mortgage foreclosures. A part of the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD), they can be reached at 1-877-462-7555, 8:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m., 7 days a week. The HOPE Hotline can connect homeowners with free housing counseling and legal services.
The Maryland Department of Labor - This website provides general information on foreclosures and tips on avoiding foreclosure rescue scams.
Foreclosure Proceedings in Maryland - The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) is the professional association for lawyers in the state. They provide continuing legal education, information about the law, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public. This brochure from MSBA’s Public Awareness Committee is a good resource on foreclosures in Maryland.
Homeowners may be able to receive free or low cost legal representation through a number of legal services organizations. With funding fromt the Department of Housing and Community Development and the Maryland Attorney General's Office, representation may include attending mediations with homeowners and assisting with lender negotiations.
Participating Legal Service Organizations -
- Allegany Law - Intake: 301-722-3390 (Allegany)
- Civil Justice - Intake: 410-706-5649
- Community Legal Services - Intake: 240-391-6413 (Prince George's)
- Maryland Legal Aid Bureau - Intake: 888-213-3320 (statewide)
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service - Intake: 443-451-4067
- Mid-Shore Pro Bono - Intake: 410-690-8128 (Caroline, Dorchester, Kent, Talbot, Queen Anne)
- Public Justice Center - Intake: 410-625-9409
- Pro Bono Resources Center of Maryland - Intake: 410-837-9379
- St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center - Intake: 410-366-8550 (Baltimore City)
City and County Resources
Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition provides a free Mortgage Matters workshop for homeowners in need of advice. The workshop provides mortgage counselors and tips on avoiding foreclosure.
The Housing Authority of Baltimore City provides additional information in housing options.
Montgomery County Department of Housing and Community Affairs provides helpful tips on preventing foreclosures, educational seminars, and tips on avoiding scams.
Prince George's County Department of Social Services provides a Homelessness Prevention Program. The program screens applicants for eligibility, counseling, and provides referrals.
On the federal level, the Homeowners Hope Hotline has been established to connect distressed homeowners to free foreclosure counseling. Counselors all come from agencies certified by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The Homeowners Hope Hotline is 1-888-995-4673 (HOPE). The Hotline was created by HOPE NOW, an alliance between HUD approved counseling agents, servicers, investors and other mortgage market participants. Also, borrowers are encouraged to contact their loan servicer to see what modification programs the loan servicer may offer.
Fannie Mae, or the Federal National Mortgage Association, was created in 1938 as a government entity to help lenders provide mortgage financing to home buyers at reasonable rates. Fannie Mae was chartered as a government-sponsored private organization in 1968. You can look up your loan on Fannie Mae's website to understand what your options are.
Freddie Mac, or the Federal Home Mortgage Corporation, was created by Congress in 1970 to be a competitor for Fannie Mae. Freddie Mac primarily purchases mortgages from primary lenders so that banks have money to lend to others. Freddie Mac maintains a page on avoiding foreclosure and assessing options.
Additional Federal Resources
HUD also provides help to veterans through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003. The Act provides mortgage relief, termination of leases, protection from eviction, a six percent cap on interest rates, stay of foreclosure proceedings, and reopening of Default Judgments.