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Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation

 

Residential Mortgage Foreclosure Regulations - Updates - September 2012 - Advisory

 

Download this advisory (Word document, 67KB, download Word viewer for free)

 

This advisory is intended to provide guidance on recent changes made to the mortgage foreclosure process in Maryland.

  • Regulations Governing the Foreclosure Process - COMAR 09.03.12.01 - .12
     
      • Approval of New Emergency Regulations - The Joint Committee on Administrative, Executive and Legislative Review (AELR) of the Maryland General Assembly has approved emergency regulations that will replace and supersede the emergency regulations which were due to expire on January 15, 2013. The new emergency regulations include updates based on comments received during the public notice and comment period on foreclosure regulations that were proposed and published in the Maryland Register in October, 2011. The new emergency regulations also address changes to the law made by Chapter 156 of the Acts of 2012. A copy of the new emergency regulations is available online. The new emergency regulations are expected to be published in the Maryland Register in October 2012 and go into effect on October 1, 2012.
      • Concurrent Proposed Regulations - The new emergency regulations are identical to proposed regulations that will be published for public notice and comment in the Maryland Register in October 2012.
         
  • Foreclosed Property Registry
     
      • Chapter 155 of the Acts of 2012, which created the Foreclosed Property Registry, endorses one of the primary recommendations of the Maryland Foreclosure Task Force convened by Governor Martin O'Malley in 2011. The Task Force identified that an extended period of time (estimated to range from nine to 18 months) frequently occurs between the date of a foreclosure sale and the date a deed transferring title to the property is recorded. During this "limbo period," local governments have difficulty identifying the appropriate person to address issues such as security and maintenance that may arise with the property. Accordingly, the Task Force recommended the creation of a simple-to-use central resource by which State and local governments have timely access to contact information for reaching the purchasers of foreclosed properties after the auction.
         
      • The online Foreclosed Property Registry will become available on October 1, 2012.
         
      • Sales of foreclosed properties that occur on or after October 1, 2012 will be subject to registration.
         
      • The Foreclosure Purchaser Instructions are available online (Word document, 28KB, download Word viewer for free).
         
      • Maryland's Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation will provide training from October 1, 2012 to January 1, 2013 to assist users of the Registry.
         
  • Expedited Foreclosure of Vacant or Uninhabitable Properties
     
      • Chapter 156 of the Acts of 2012 provides that a secured party may foreclose on an expedited basis against property for which a certificate of vacancy or certificate of property unfit for human habitation has been issued by a local jurisdiction. Local jurisdictions may issue the certificates to secured parties and charge up to $100 per certificate. A jurisdiction may issue a certificate only after it determines, in accordance with State, local or county housing codes, that the property is vacant or unfit for human habitation. The certificate is valid for 60 days after the date on which it was issued. During the time a certificate for a property is valid, the secured party may pursue foreclosure against the property without being subject to the notices, timing or mediation requirements imposed before the filing of the order to docket or complaint to foreclose.
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      • Chapter 156 also required the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to develop a description of the procedure to challenge a certificate of vacancy or certificate of property unfit for human habitation and the form to be used to make the challenge. The Office of the Commissioner has consulted with the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure. The Committee is in the process of developing the procedure and form to challenge a certificate. When available, the Office of the Commissioner will publish a description of the procedures and post the appropriate forms.