Maryland Foreclosure Process and Laws


Quick Facts About the Foreclosure Process in Maryland

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

There are three ways to foreclose a mortgage in the State of Maryland, through a judicial, assent to decree, or non-judicial foreclosure process.

Judicial Foreclosure
When a mortgage has no power of sale clause or an assent to decree, the lender should file a complaint to obtain a court order to foreclose. If a default has been found, the court will fix the amount of debt, interests and costs that the borrower needs to pay within a reasonable time period. If the borrower is not able to pay, the property will then be sold to satisfy the debt.

Assent To Decree Foreclosure
In the assent to decree foreclosure, it has been agreed that an order for the sale of the property is permitted for a specified default. Lenders will still have to file a complaint to foreclose, but no hearing will be needed to continue on with the foreclosure sale.

Non-Judicial Foreclosure
In this foreclosure, the borrower has pre-authorized the sale of the property in case of a default. The power to sell the property is in the hands of the lender or a representative called a trustee. Even though there is permission to sell the property, an order to docket must still be filed by lenders before the foreclosure sale can start. But no hearing is necessary for the foreclosure sale to commence.

Foreclosure Guidelines

Some guidelines that must be followed during a foreclosure process are:

  1. A notice of sale must be published in the county newspaper where the property is located for three consecutive weeks with the first ad not less than 15 days before the sale, and the last ad not more than one week before the sale. Another notice of sale must be sent to the borrower not more than 30 days and not less than 10 days before the sale.
  2. The sale can only be done by an authorized person at the property itself, in front of the county courthouse, or in the place specified in the notice of sale.
  3. A postponed sale must be published in the same way the original sale was done.
  4. After the sale, the person authorized to make the sale must file a report of the sale with the court. The clerk of the court will then issue a notice describing the property and stating that the sale will be ratified after 30 days as long as there is no reason found to revoke the sale. This notice will be published in the county newspaper for three consecutive weeks until the 30 day period has expired.
  5. The lender has 3 years to file a deficiency judgement, but only for the balance of the loan in default after the foreclosure sale has been taken into account.

Foreclosure Avoidance Counseling

HUD-approved housing counseling agencies are available to provide you with the information and assistance you need to avoid foreclosure. As part of President Obama’s comprehensive Homeowner Affordability and Stability Plan (HASP), you may be eligible for a special Making Home Affordable loan modification or refinance, to reduce your monthly payments and help you keep your home.

If you need help understanding the Making Home Affordable programs, you can use this search tool to find a counseling agency in your area that will provide you with free foreclosure prevention services. If you are eligible for the loan modification or refinance program, the counselor will work with you to compile an intake package for your servicer.

Foreclosure prevention counseling services are provided free of charge by nonprofit housing counseling agencies working in partnership with the Federal Government. These agencies are funded, in part, by HUD and NeighborWorks® America. There is no need to pay a private company for these services.

Baltimore Field Office

City Crescent Building

10 S. Howard Street, Fifth Floor
Baltimore, MD 21201-2505

Phone: (410) 962-2520

Fax: (410) 209-6670
TTY: (410) 209-6681

Jurisdiction: State of Maryland (Except as noted below under Washington, DC)

James Kelly
Field Office Director

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday

District of Columbia Field Office
820 First Street, NE, Suite 300
Washington D.C., 20002

Phone: (202) 275-9200

Fax: (202) 275-6381

TDY: (202) 275-6388

Jurisdiction: Washington, DC; City of Alexandria, VA; Fairfax County, VA; Arlington County, VA; Prince William County, VA; Loudoun County, VA; Montgomery County, MD and Prince George’s County, MD.

John E. Hall
Field Office Director

Office Hours: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Monday through Friday