Ground rent registry poorly advertised

I must agree with the letter by April I. Smith (Readers respond, Oct. 1) when she says that "It would have been nice if the ... Sunpapers had seen fit to let readers know about the ground rent registry deadline before it was too late to save their property."

I heard nothing about this until it happened to be mentioned on a morning news show on September 29, 2010 on WYPR, the day before the deadline to mail the registration. Although I have only four such properties, which were part of my father's estate and produce very little return, I wholehearted agree that this seems to be the best kept legislative secret.

I have heard many reports and commentaries concerning ground rents over the last several years and never once do I recall any mention of a need to register these properties or face forfeiture. While I can understand the need to bring order to a system where the owners of many properties are nearly impossible to identify, I do not agree that their ownership should suddenly cease to exist. There should be some mechanism whereby the property can be reinstated at such time as the ground rent holders prove their ownership and update their record.

I sincerely hope that the current lawsuits will force the legislature to see that terminating the property rights of individuals without compensation is truly unconstitutional.

Michael W. Carrion, Baltimore County

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