The foreclosure moratorium, which was set to expire at the end of this month, was renewed by state officials Monday to last through the end of March.
The Maryland Department of Labor’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation helped extend the moratorium, which was initially put in place April 3, 2020, shortly after the first cases of the coronavirus were detected in the state.
“I commend the Hogan administration and our Office of Financial Regulation for continuing to support and protect Maryland’s homeowners by further extending the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through the end of March,” Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson said in a news release. “Homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments due to economic hardships caused by the COVID-19 pandemic will have additional time to connect with their mortgage lender to find solutions and take advantage of the many financial relief programs available.”
The statewide reporting system for foreclosure notices will also be suspended until the end of March. While the system is closed, officials said lenders are prohibited from sending a “notice of intent to foreclose,” to homeowners — which is usually the first step in initiating a foreclosure.
Officials said homeowners who are facing foreclosure or have the potential to default on their mortgage should contact the company where they send their monthly payments for assistance. Many companies are offering loan forbearance and other temporary payment relief.
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.