DID YOU KNOW that on April 3, 2008, Governor Martin O’Malley signed emergency legislation to modify the foreclosure process. The changes were effective on April 4, 2008. Before filing a foreclosure action, the following waiting periods must be observed:
1. 90 days from the date the default occurred; and, 2. 45 days from the date the lender sent a uniform Notice of Intent to Foreclose to the homeowner. The date of default is set out in the mortgage instrument; for example, the day after the payment is due. If the default is for another reason, for example, the failure of the homeowner to send the mortgage holder evidence of insurance, the mortgage instrument usually requires that the mortgage holder give the homeowner notice of that type of default, and it provides a time period to cure. The day following the expiration of the time to cure period is the date of default. The uniform Notice of Intent to Foreclose is a form now available on the State Department of Licensing’s web site. It must be sent to the homeowner by certified and first class mail. The notice must contain (a) the mortgage loan number, lien position, date of last payment and total amount owed; (b) the name and telephone number and license number of the mortgage lender and originator, the loan servicer, if applicable, and the name and telephone number of an agent authorized to modify the terms of the loan; (c) the type of default; and (d) the action the homeowner must take to cure the foreclosure by a date certain.
After the foreclosure is filed, the homeowner must be personally served with a copy of the petition. Before the actual sale can take place, the lender must wait 45 days from the date the homeowner was served. The lender must accept payment of the amount due to cure the default up to one day before the sale. The emergency legislation also includes a requirement that every mortgage and deed of trust must contain the license numbers of the mortgage lender and originator, or those instruments will not be accepted for recordation.