The answer to the question of “How Much Time in Home After Maryland Foreclosure Mediation” is not exact. However, there are applicable Maryland laws that can give you a general idea as to how long the process takes. I raise this question because recently, I have represented an increased number of anxious Maryland homeowners in foreclosure mediation after they have received a Notice of Intent to Foreclose on their home due to a mortgage default. In most of these cases, the nervous homeowners want to remain in their home. When we walk into the foreclosure mediation we state from the beginning that “retention” is our primary goal. In some cases “retention” is a feasible goal, usually through a successful loan modification agreement. However, in other cases, my clients are not eligible for a loan modification and there are no other applicable retention options available to them.
It is the rare case where I have represented homeowners at a foreclosure mediation and the owners have been able to reach an agreement during the foreclosure mediation. Usually what happens is the homeowners have just recently submitted an updated loss mitigation application, which includes a request for a loan modification. When the application is considered complete by the lender, the homeowners are waiting for an answer, and the foreclosure sale process is put on hold until the lender makes a decision regarding the request for a loan modification.
I emphasize the word complete because it is paramount in a loss mitigation application. Every required, current, and complete document must be submitted to the lender as fast as possible. When the homeowners do not have a complete loss mitigation packet pending with the lender, there can be no agreement during the foreclosure mediation, and the foreclosure sale process continues. If the intent of the homeowner is to stay in his home via an acceptable loan modification agreement, then time is not his friend if he has reached the foreclosure mediation stage of the foreclosure sale process. The homeowner must act quickly to stay in his home.
If there is no settlement reached at the foreclosure mediation, then the mediator notifies the Office of Administrative Hearings (“OAH”) almost immediately, no more than 7 days later. The OAH files a foreclosure mediation outcome report with the Circuit Court. The Circuit Court then issues an order allowing the lender to continue with the foreclosure sale. The lender must publish a notice of the sale at least once a week for 3 weeks before the sale date. The last publication date must be within 1 week of the sale date. What does this mean for the homeowner who wants to stay in his home? This means his home could be sold in a foreclosure sale as early as 30 days from the date of foreclosure mediation. Consequently, it is vital for the homeowner who leaves foreclosure mediation without an agreement to assess his situation and determine how he is going to prevent a foreclosure sale. The most common options are stated below:
MARYLAND HOMEOWNER FORECLOSURE SALE PREVENTION OPTIONS
- Curing Default by Reinstatement Including Paying all Past Due Payments, Penalties, and Fees, Up to 1 Business Day Before Sale
- Chapter 13 Bankruptcy Filing for Certain Financially Viable Homeowners
- Loan Modification Agreement with the Lender
The key for the homeowner who wants to remain in his home is to objectively assess his situation, act quickly, and be reasonable about his options.