Statement from Governor Martin O'Malley on Proposed Court Action on Foreclosures
BALTIMORE, MD (October 15, 2010) – Governor Martin O’Malley issued this statement today following the vote of the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure to recommend that the Court of Appeals adopt an emergency rule change to foreclosure actions:
“I want to commend Chief Judge Bell for recognizing the widespread scope of improper foreclosure filings and I applaud the Rules Committee's vote to propose an emergency measure that will help put the brakes on potentially wrongful foreclosures. The proposed new rule is a big step forward and will enable the courts to stop foreclosures with improper filings unless lenders, servicers and attorneys can show why they should go forward.
“In particular, the Rules Committee’s decision to make sure that homeowners do not bear the costs of the mess created by lenders’ shoddy practices shows the Court’s understanding of who caused the problem and who should bear the responsibility to fix it.”
Last week, Governor O’Malley joined with members of Maryland’s Congressional delegation in strong support of action the court deemed appropriate to help reassure regulators and homeowners that Maryland families were being treated fairly.
In 2008, Governor O’Malley fought for some of the most sweeping foreclosure reform laws in the nation, providing extended time for a solution to foreclosure, and changing the foreclosure process to include a 45-day warning to homeowners. In addition, the Governor’s reforms required that a lender produce a copy of the note at the time of foreclosure.
Reforms Governor O’Malley fought for this year provide a forum for reaching a solution. Effective July 1, homeowners facing foreclosure have the right to demand a sit-down, face-to-face mediation session with their mortgage servicers to negotiate an alternative to foreclosure. More than 165 families have taken advantage of that right so far, scheduling sessions with their lenders.