Most Maryland foreclosures are quasi-judicial, which means that the foreclosure is primarily nonjudicial (out of court), but a court plays a small supervisory role in the process. If you’re about to go through a foreclosure in Maryland, you should take the time to find out as much as you can about how the foreclosure process works, how much and what type of notice you’ll receive before the sale, whether you get the right to reinstate the loan before the sale, and other key aspects of Maryland foreclosure law.
The citations to Maryland’s foreclosure statutes are found in:
You can find a link to the Code of Maryland on the General Assembly of Maryland’s website at http://mgaleg.maryland.gov. If you need help locating the statutes, see Finding Your State’s Foreclosure Laws.
The important parts of Maryland’s foreclosure laws are summarized below. You can find more detailed articles on various aspects of Maryland’s foreclosure law in Nolo’s Maryland Foreclosure Law Center.
In Maryland, most foreclosures are nonjudicial, but a court must ratify (confirm) the sale. This is sometimes called a “quasi-judicial” foreclosure. Maryland foreclosures can also be fully judicial, which means the lender files a lawsuit to foreclose.
Since the majority of foreclosures in Maryland are quasi-judicial, this article focuses on that process.
Before a foreclosure sale can take place, the foreclosing party must give three types of notice to the borrower: a notice of intent to foreclose, an Order to Docket, and a notice of sale.
Notice of intent to foreclose. A notice of intent to foreclose must be mailed to the borrower at least 45 days before the foreclosing party files the foreclosure action. The notice of intent must include a loss mitigation application (that is, an application for the borrower to request an alternative to foreclosure) and mediation information (if applicable). Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 7-105.1. (Learn about mediation in Nolo’s article Maryland’s Foreclosure Mediation Program.)
Order to Docket. The foreclosing party officially starts the foreclosure by filing an Order to Docket with the court and serving a copy to the borrower, along with other foreclosure papers (such as a form to request foreclosure mediation, if the borrower has not already attended mediation). Maryland Rules 14-209, Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 7-105.1.
Notice of sale. The foreclosing party must publish a notice of sale in a newspaper for three weeks and mail a notice to the homeowner between ten and 30 days before the sale takes place. Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § § 7-105.1, 7-105.2.
Maryland law applies the legal protections provided under the federal Servicemembers Civil Relief Act to members of the national guard or Maryland Defense Force ordered to state military duty for a period of 14 consecutive days or longer. Md. Code Ann., Pub. Safety § 13-704. (Learn more about the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act.)
“Reinstating” is when you catch up on the defaulted mortgage's missed payments (plus fees and costs) in order to stop a foreclosure. (Learn more about reinstatement to avoid foreclosure.)
Maryland law permits the borrower to reinstate the loan at any time up to one business day before the foreclosure sale occurs. Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 7-105.1.
In some states, you can redeem (repurchase) your home within a certain period of time after the foreclosure.
While there is no statutory post-foreclosure right to redeem in Maryland, the borrower has up until the court ratifies the foreclosure sale to redeem the home. (To get details on redemption rights in Maryland, see Nolo’s article If I lose my home to foreclosure in Maryland, can I get it back?)
When the total mortgage debt exceeds the foreclosure sale price, the difference is called a “deficiency.” Some states allow the lender to seek a personal judgment (called a “deficiency judgment”) against the borrower for this amount, while other states prohibit deficiency judgments with what are called anti-deficiency laws. Maryland does not have an anti-deficiency law.
After the court ratifies the sale in a Maryland foreclosure, a court appointed auditor determines how to distribute the sale proceeds and files a report. If the proceeds are insufficient to pay off the full amount of the mortgage debt, the foreclosing party may file a motion for a deficiency judgment within three years after ratification of the auditor’s report. Md. Code Ann., Real Prop. § 7-105.13, Maryland Rule 14-216. (For a summary of the deficiency law in Maryland, see Maryland Laws on Post-Foreclosure Deficiency Judgments.)
In Maryland, the new owners don't have to file a separate eviction action to get rid of the foreclosed homeowners. Once the court ratifies the sale, the new owner can get an order of possession from the court.
To do this, the new owner files a motion with the court and gives notice of the motion to the foreclosed homeowners. After the new owner gets the order of possession from the court, he or she can evict the former owners from the home.