Maryland Foreclosure Law Summary
Stop Maryland Foreclosure
- Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes
- Non-Judicial Foreclosure Available: Yes, with restrictions
- Primary Security Instruments: Deed of Trust, Mortgage
- Timeline: Typically 90 days
- Right of Redemption: No
- Deficiency Judgments Allowed: Yes
In Maryland, lenders may foreclose on a mortgage or deed of trust
in default using either the judicial, assent to decree, or non-judicial foreclosure
In cases where the security instrument contains neither a power
of sale nor an assent to a decree, a lender must file a complaint against the borrower
and obtain a decree of sale from a court having jurisdiction in the county where
the property is located before foreclosure proceedings can begin. The court will
then determine whether a default has occurred.
If the court finds that a default has occurred it shall: 1) fix
the amount of the debt, interest, and costs then due; and 2) provide a reasonable
time within which payment may be made. The court may order that if payment is not
made within the time fixed in the order, the property must be sold to satisfy the
Assent To Decree Foreclosure
Assent to a decree foreclosure is used when a provision in the
security document declares an assent to the entry of an order for the sale of the
property upon a specified default. Lenders who use the assent to decree foreclosure
must file a complaint to foreclose. However, it is not necessary for a hearing to
be held prior to the foreclosure sale.
The non-judicial process of foreclosure is used when a power of
sale clause exists in a mortgage or deed of trust. A "power of sale" clause is the
clause in a deed of trust or mortgage, in which the borrower pre-authorizes the
sale of property to pay off the balance on a loan in the event of the their default.
In deeds of trust or mortgages where a power of sale exists, the power given to
the lender to sell the property may be executed by the lender or their representative,
typically referred to as the trustee.
Despite the permission given in the power of sale clause, lenders
in Maryland must still file an order to docket before foreclosure proceedings can
begin. However, it is not necessary for a hearing to be held prior to the foreclosure
Unless otherwise stated in the original loan document or ordered
by the court, the following guidelines must be adhered to in any foreclosure proceedings:
- A notice of sale must be published in a newspaper of general
circulation in the county where the property resides at least once a week for
three (3) successive weeks, with the first publication to be not less than fifteen
(15) days prior to sale and the last publication to be not more than one week
prior to sale. The notice of sale must also be sent by certified and by registered
mail, not more than thirty (30) days and not less than ten (10) days before
the date of the sale, to the borrower at their last known address.
- The sale must be conducted by the person authorized to make
the sale (i.e. trustee, sheriff) and may take place immediately outside the
courthouse entrance, on the property itself or the location advertised in the
notice of sale, if different. The terms of the sale vary by process.
- If the sale is postponed, notice of the new date of sale
shall be published in the manner the original notice of sale was given.
- Within thirty (30) days after the sale, the person authorized
to make the sale must file a complete report of the sale with the court. The
clerk of the court will then issue a notice containing a brief description to
identify the property and stating that the sale will be ratified unless cause
to the contrary is shown within 30 days after the date of the notice. A copy
of the notice shall be published at least once a week in each of three successive
weeks before the expiration of the 30-day period in one or more newspapers of
general circulation in the county in which the report of sale was filed.
- Lenders have a period of three (3) years to file for a deficiency
judgment, but it is limited to the balance of the loan in default after the
foreclosure sale proceeds have been applied.
More information on Maryland foreclosure laws.