Real Estate Foreclosure Laws in Maryland

Maryland Protection of Homeowners in Foreclosure Act

Anyone who is involved with homeowners in Maryland that are 60 days late or later on their mortgage payments should educate themselves regarding the Maryland Protection of Homeowners in Foreclosure Act. This includes Realtors, Investors and anyone who is offering foreclosure consulting services. If such persons are found to be in violation of the Act, they are subject to stiff criminal penalties. Exempt are attorneys and loan servicers, loss mitigation departments or persons regulating banks, trust companies, savings and loan associations, credit unions, or insurance companies, if the person performs services as part of their ordinary course of business.

For more information on the Act, please visit the State of Maryland website. The act was enacted to protect homeowners from crooks who prey on distressed homeowners and try and take advantage of the homeowner by charging fees for services that are not performed or excessive upfront fees.

Maryland Foreclosure Help

In order to avoid the foreclosure process, Maryland homeowners can get help from the following organizations or private companies:

· MDHope.org. is part of the Maryland Department of Housing & Community Development. They offer counseling services and refinance programs to Maryland homeowners for up to $15,000 for short gap loans as a result of financial difficulties.

· FHA Secure program is part of HUD. This is a national program that gives homeowners who do not have FHA financing or who have adjustable rate mortgages an opportunity to refinance.

· Maryland State Bar Association. Offers answers to homeowners who are facing foreclosure and refers attorneys who are foreclosure defense experts.

· Maryland Foreclosure Defense Attorneys are the only legally qualified persons authorized to represent borrowers to assist them with legal defenses against foreclosure in court proceedings. They can conduct a forensic loan audit to determine if there have been any predatory loan practices also in order to rescind the loan, and are able to recommend other options to borrowers to save their homes from foreclosure. They are also qualified to assist the borrower with negotiating a mortgage modification.

· Private Mortgage Modification Companies can help homeowners negotiate a mortgage modification with their lender for a fee to save their home from foreclosure.

· Mortgage Brokers are able to help borrowers with refinancing options and mortgage modification negotiations.

The best prevention against foreclosure in Maryland is for Maryland homeowners to contact their lenders early on and discuss other options that may be available to them to save their home from foreclosure. Not asking for help and not communicating with the lender is a mistake that many borrowers make, and they end up losing their homes when they could have saved them.

Foreclosure Process

In Maryland, a notice of foreclosure on a mortgage or deed of trust of a residential property cannot be filed until 90 days after default or 45 days after a notice of intent to foreclose is sent, whichever is later. The foreclosure process is instituted by the lender through the courts. The typical foreclosure action takes 46 days.

The lender must file a complaint in court against the borrower stating that there has been a default, and obtain a decree of sale from the court that has jurisdiction based upon where the property is located. The court will determine the amount owed to the lender and set a time limit in which the borrower has to pay the sum owed. If the sum is not paid by that time period, then the court will set a sale date.

One thing that is different about the foreclosure process in Maryland compared to other states is that prior to the sale date, the lender does not have to notify the borrower that a foreclosure action has been filed against the borrower. Most states require that the complaint be served upon the borrower and all interested parties and that the borrower is allowed a statutory time period in which to respond.

Notice of Sale and Auction

The notice of sale must be published in a newspaper in the county where the property is located for three consecutive weeks. The trustee must send notice to the borrower and all interested parties at least 10 days prior to the sale/auction. The property will then be sold at an auction to the highest bidder.

The sale is conducted by an auctioneer at the courthouse steps and the highest bidder is awarded the property. After the sale, a notice is published in the newspaper in the county where the property is located giving all interested parties 30 days in which to object to the sale. If there are no objections after the 30 day period, then the property is awarded to the new buyer and title is transferred. If no one bids at the auction, then the bank will acquire back the property and it becomes an REO (real estate owned) property.

Redemption Periods

There are no statutory redemption periods for the borrower in Maryland. The court can set one if they so desire.

Foreclosure Law – Some Things You Should Know

If you have a home loan and are current with your payments, then, like most people, you may view foreclosure law as an unknown subject and something you hope you never need to become familiar with. If, however you’ve missed a couple of payments, you may find yourself getting VERY familiar with foreclosure law very quickly, as you will need to in order to save your home.

That being said, some basic knowledge can go a long way in giving you peace of mind regarding what is involved in foreclosure law as well as what options you have.

One thing to understand is the process by which foreclosure operates. Typically, once you’ve fallen behind by two payments the bank has the option to begin proceedings to take back your home. This starts as you might expect with filing a lawsuit to get a court order to foreclose. From there, typically there is a foreclosure sale. Fortunately, there is also a waiting period of between three and twelve months, the length of this period will vary according to state laws.

So, what can you do?

If you’ve been given a notice with intent to foreclose, all is not lost. The simplest thing to do is source the funds and pay what you owe. Failing that, you could also make arrangements to get on a payment schedule that fits your circumstances. Remember, your lender will want to work with you as it costs them time, money, and aggravation to foreclose. And most importantly, they do not want to own property that may or may not sell quickly.

Although it may be uncomfortable, communication with your lender is key here as this shows them you are serious about keeping your home. They may let you refinance your mortgage or do a loan modification.

One thing you should definitely NOT be without when dealing with foreclosure law is a good foreclosure attorney. A good attorney can act as an intermediary between you and your lender as well as explain things in a way that is understandable to you, thus taking away some of the stress you will be feeling.

This is one of the key things to remember when dealing with foreclosure law and the possibility of losing your home: stay calm and focused. At first this may sound silly, but ask yourself if having hysterics would help? It will not do your cause any good to go to your lender or lawyer angry or in rough emotional shape. Above all, you need to be able to think clearly. Instead, use your emotions to help focus your energy on solving the problem. You will find that it will go faster and easier this way.

Ultimately, you need to be aggressive about solving your dilemma and take every avenue to work with your lender so that they get paid and you keep your home. Foreclosure law can seem intimidating, but with the right knowledge and a solid team of professionals, it need not be.

Arizona Foreclosure Law Summary

Judicial Foreclosure and Non-Judicial Foreclosure are both methods comprising Arizona Foreclosure laws. Under this legislation, a Judicial Foreclosure simply requires a lawsuit in order to obtain a court order to foreclose. This becomes necessary when there is not a power of sale written into the mortgage or the deed of trust.

A power of sale is a clause in the mortgage or deed of trust giving the lender permission to sell when a default occurs. When the power of sale is present, the courts are not part of the foreclosure process, permitting a Non-Judicial Foreclosure to go forward; this is the most common method of Arizona foreclosures.

A notice of Trustee Sale is filed in the county recorder’s office, and allows a 90 day period from the date of that notice, giving the property owner a chance to pay off the lien. All parties affected by the sale are notified by the Trustee, but during this time and the 90 day waiting period following the Notice of Trustee Sale being filed, the homeowner is still responsible for the property and all incurred debts.

It is only after all late payments have been made, including late fees, lender fees, and attorney fees, is the Notice of Trustee Sale voided and the property returns to the owner.

Should that not happen, the property is sold at auction and the owner loses all rights to the property. The proceeds from the highest auction bidder will pay off the primary lien. Any remaining balance goes to junior lien holders in a determined priority.

There are certain regulations governing how much the successful bidder at auction must put down at time of sale (usually $1,000), and a deadline set for payment in full. If this is not completed on time, the $1,000 is retained, and notice and deadline is given to the second highest bidder.

Foreclosure Laws and What To Expect As A Borrower

Due to the current economic turmoil being experienced in the United States, there are many homeowners who now find themselves in the position of being behind on their mortgage payments. It goes without saying that this is an extremely stressful, and often scary scenario to find oneself in. Having an understanding of foreclosure laws can go a long way in helping to alleviate this stress, and empower oneself to take the appropriate actions to work with the bank and get things back on track.

Unfortunately, gaining such an understanding can be difficult, given that foreclosure laws vary from state to state. The process can be quite different from one state to another, and these differences will largely determine the proper course of action for a homeowner.

Foreclosure Laws in California

However, as an example, let’s examine the foreclosure laws in the state of California and how they impact the potential time line for foreclosure by the bank, and the eviction process if things progress to that level. Keep in mind that the timeframes stated here are merely what is possible. Your particular lender may not operate completely according to this schedule.

  1. In California, after 90 days of non-payment on your mortgage, California foreclosure law allows the bank to record a Notice of Default.
  2. After an additional 90 days, the bank is allowed to record a Notice of Trustee’s Sale.
  3. 21 days later, it is possible for the bank to sell your home at a foreclosure auction. This could result either in the bank finding a buyer for the home, or if the home does not sell at auction the bank could take the property back as an “REO”, or real estate-owned property. If your home sells at auction, at that point it could be nearly impossible to retain your home.
  4. If the bank does take the property back as an REO, the bank’s asset manager may offer what is known as a “cash for keys” deal. Basically, the bank offers from $3,000 to $5,000 for you to voluntarily move out of the home within 3-4 weeks. After you have vacated the property, the agent for the bank can list the property on MLS for sale to the general public.

Once the process of selling your home is initiated by the bank, there are various methods available at your disposal to stop it, assuming that you are looking to buy enough time to work out a resumption of payments with the bank.

Bankruptcy

One option to stop the sale is filing bankruptcy. This creates an automatic stay on the foreclosure process. Unfortunately, this doesn’t always work as a long-term solution because a bankruptcy designed to allow you to keep your home often will require you to resume payments at the same amount you were at before going into default, plus more in order to pay off your arrears over three to five years. Obviously, unless your income has been restored to prior levels, this often is not a workable scenario.

Litigation

The only other way to force the bank to stop foreclosure is to sue the bank and get an injunction to halt the process. There are only a few possible grounds on which you can file such a suit, including statutory violations or mistakes during the foreclosure proceedings, and common law violations such as violation of the HAMP program, fraud, or breach of contract.

For any of these options, it is imperative that you seek advice from a qualified expert in the foreclosure laws of your particular state.

Maryland Foreclosure Laws – Can the Latest Maryland State Foreclosure Laws Save Your Home?

Maryland foreclosure laws are quite different from other auction laws. Basically, these laws provide an understanding of the foreclosure process of the state and are different for every district or county. There are 3 main foreclosure laws of Maryland:

1. Judicial

2. Non Judicial

3. Right of redemption (depends on the case and decided by the court)

4. Time span – 3-4 months

1. Maryland judicial foreclosure law- In this process, if the payments are not made regularly by the borrower, the lender can get an order from the court to sale off the property. The lender can file a complaint ion the court only if the deed of trust contains no power of sale.

2. Maryland non judicial foreclosure law – In the non judicial foreclosure law of Maryland, the governor appoints a public trustee who acts commonly for all the auction sales. The authorized attorney of the lender, files the documents with the trustee office and recorder’s office of the area where the property is located.

· The clerk of the area issues a notice of demand from the borrower and this notice is published in the local newspaper for 3 weeks. Property sale will take place after 45 days, if the borrower does not respond and the lender is not supposed to send any information about the sale process to the borrower.

· According to Maryland foreclosure law, property sale can take place in any court and the sale would be handled by the trustee only

You can now save your home from getting sold through Maryland foreclosure laws:

· The court before issuing a decree for sale to the lender, will give you a chance to pay all the debt by giving you a time frame of some days. You must make all the payments pending up to date and save your property.

3. The right of redemption is a part of Maryland foreclosure law, which depends on the court. One can redeem the property after the sale. You will need to pay the entire amount on which the bid has been stopped and court will give you 30 days to arrange for the payment. If you succeed in making the payment in that time, you can get your property and the amount that has been paid by you would be used for foreclosing your loan.