BALTIMORE, MD—The Maryland Department of Labor’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation on Monday announced the extension of the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through May 3, 2021. The moratorium, originally established by the Governor’s executive order issued April 3, 2020 and continued through subsequent executive orders and regulatory guidance, was due to expire on March 31, 2021.
“While the state’s economy is improving and the unemployment rate is decreasing, many homeowners are still facing financial hardships through no fault of their own due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “As a result, our department’s Office of Financial Regulation has further extended the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through the beginning of May. I strongly encourage homeowners to contact their mortgage lender before the moratorium ends to learn about the options and solutions that may be available to them.”
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 May 3, 2021. While the reporting system is closed, lenders are prohibited from sending a “notice of intent to foreclose” to homeowners. This notice is the first step for initiating most residential foreclosures in Maryland.
“After analyzing multiple factors relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, the decision was made to extend the moratorium by prohibiting the initiation of new foreclosures,” said Commissioner Salazar. “We recognize that conditions in the State are improving. Our Office continues to actively monitor the economic trends within the State, the residential mortgage market, and the status of the virus response by associated governmental and public health authorities to determine if additional guidance will be necessary to minimize the impact of the pandemic on struggling Maryland homeowners.”
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. 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 also 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 https://www.labor.maryland.gov/finance.