Governor Martin O'Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown Highlight Foreclosure Prevention in Maryland
Maryland officially becomes the first state in the nation to close an Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program loan
ANNAPOLIS, MD (May 9, 2011) – Governor Martin O’Malley and Lt. Governor Anthony G. Brown today joined members of the Administration, community leaders and local elected officials at the home of Prince George’s County resident Fanny Melvin to encourage homeowners at risk of losing their homes to take advantage of foreclosure prevention programs in Maryland, including the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program (EMA), the MDHOPE Network and available counseling services throughout the state.
“There is no more powerful place in our State than a family’s home,” said Governor O’Malley. “In Maryland, we’ve undertaken an array of reforms and actions to prevent foreclosures. I am pleased that our federal partners, through initiatives like the Emergency Mortgage Assistance program, and our local leaders have joined together to preserve homeownership, the cornerstone of a strong and growing upwardly mobile middle class.”
In April, the O’Malley-Brown Administration announced the launch of the Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program, a $40 million program to assist homeowners in addressing back mortgage payments. The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development with the goal of helping homeowners who are facing foreclosure due to job loss or a decrease in wages, including those who lost income due to illness.
Today, the Governor also announced that Maryland is the first state in the nation to close an EMA loan. Fanny Melvin has been approved and Lisa Barnes of Montgomery County is the first homeowner in Maryland approved for a loan through this initiative.
“Under Governor O’Malley’s leadership, Maryland has taken significant steps to help struggling homeowners because hard-working Marylanders like Fanny Melvin shouldn’t have to worry about losing their homes due to circumstances beyond their control,” said Lt. Governor Brown. “I hope hearing Fanny’s story will encourage others to take advantage of our Emergency Mortgage Assistance program and all the resources that Maryland has to offer for those at risk of losing their homes.”
The Governor and Lt. Governor have been traveling the state today to highlight housing programs and services available to Marylanders.
Congresswoman Donna Edwards said, “Our economic recovery depends on helping people like Fanny Melvin increase their skills, take care of their families, and stay in their homes. At the federal, state, and local levels we are working to combat the foreclosure rate in Prince George’s County, and I commend Governor O’Malley for his tireless efforts. However, we must to continue to focus like a laser beam on helping families stay in their homes while making critical investments to educate our young people and grow our economy.”
“I have long said that America will survive this storm, but the question is who will have your job, and who will be in your home,” Congressman Elijah Cummings said. “We have seen the constant and devastating toll that foreclosures can have on our neighbors and on our neighborhoods. I commend Governor O’Malley for the State’s innovative programs to keep Maryland families in their homes. It is critical that we continue to do anything we can to help our fellow Americans avoid the pain and devastation created by foreclosures.”
Prince George’s County has been hard hit by the foreclosure crisis, and the Administration has taken action to fight on behalf of residents in the County and across the state. To date, over 57,000 homeowners statewide have received foreclosure prevention counseling through the MDHope Network since the crisis began.
"I want to thank Governor O'Malley and Lieutenant Governor Brown for this proactive initiative to address one of the most pressing problems in Prince George's County - foreclosures," said Prince George's County Executive Rushern L. Baker, III. "It is imperative that those who need mortgage assistance seek help and assistance now and not wait until it's too late."
"These are difficult times, but, Maryland has new options which will bring new hope to our Maryland homeowners for our foreclosure prevention resources," said Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development Secretary Raymond Skinner. "I applaud the dedicated housing counselors, underwriters, pro bono attorneys and program coordinators who have provided homeowners with a seamless process to apply for an EMA loan. As a result, today, we are pleased to hear from two very ecstatic homeowners."
Maryland has passed what the Washington Post called some of the most “sweeping” legislation in the country, giving distressed homeowners more time to work out alternatives to foreclosure. In 2010, the Administration successfully fought for legislation to create the Foreclosure Mediation Program to bring mortgage giants to the table with homeowners and give every Maryland family facing foreclosure the legal right to request mediation with foreclosure seeking lenders. Through Chief Judge Robert Bell’s pro-bono project, the State’s foreclosure mitigation strategies have recruited and trained over 1,100 pro-bono attorneys to help Maryland homeowners and assisted nearly 1,000 homeowners. Since 2007, through the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, the Administration has recovered over $9 million from financial institutions for consumers who were charged fees that were unlawful or improperly imposed.
Homeowners can get more details on the Administration’s foreclosure prevention initiatives and Maryland’s Emergency Mortgage Assistance Program by visiting the HOPE website at www.mdhope.org or by calling the HOPE hotline (877) 462-7555 to find a housing counselor in their area for free counseling and assistance.