BALTIMORE — The Maryland Department of Labor’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation has announced the extension of the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through June 30.
According to a news release, the moratorium, originally established by the governor’s executive order issued last year and continued through subsequent executive orders and regulatory guidance, was due to expire this year on May 3.
The new extension date aligns with the expiration of federal foreclosure moratorium, the release states.
“Our department’s Office of Financial Regulation has further extended the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through the end of June to keep Marylanders in their homes as we emerge from this pandemic,” Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson said. “This extension of the moratorium provides homeowners facing financial hardships with additional time to consult with their mortgage lender to find solutions and resume making payments in order to avoid foreclosure.”
Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation Antonio P. Salazar has issued new regulatory guidance to mortgage lenders, loan servicers and collection agencies stating that the statewide reporting system for new foreclosure notices will remain closed through June 30.
While the reporting system is closed, lenders are prohibited from sending a “notice of intent to foreclose” to homeowners, the release states. This notice is the first step for initiating most residential foreclosures in Maryland.
“Our Office continues to monitor economic and mortgage delinquency trends in the state, the status of the virus and governmental and public health responses,” Salazar said. “Many factors that we monitor are moving in the right direction. Continuing the prohibition on new foreclosures is consistent with the current status of those factors and with our Office’s consumer protection focus. An extension of the moratorium gives Maryland homeowners that remain financially impacted by the pandemic an opportunity to get back on their feet.”
Homeowners who are facing foreclosure or at risk of defaulting on their mortgage should contact the company where they send their monthly payments to request assistance, the release states. Companies are offering loan forbearance and other temporary payment relief to homeowners who are experiencing economic hardship due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Homeowners can call the Maryland HOPE hotline at 1-877-462-7555 for a referral to a nonprofit housing advocate. Additional information and resources about mortgage relief and foreclosure prevention can be found by visiting the department’s website.
For more information about the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, Maryland’s consumer financial protection agency and financial services regulator, visit www.labor.maryland.gov/finance.