While the Maryland Circuit Courts have lifted their stay on handling foreclosure actions, the Governor’s Executive Order Number 20-04-03-01 ordering the Commissioner to close the Notice of Intent to Foreclose Electronic System to new filings, remains effective. Therefore, they are not accepting any new NOI submissions at this time, and there is currently no anticipated expiration.
While this prevents foreclosures from being initiated, unless a NOI was sent and registered prior to the Governor’s Executive Order, there is a method of foreclosure detailed within the Maryland Code allowing for a petition to be filed with the Court to request proceeding without the NOI. This “Petition for Immediate Foreclosure” is described in Maryland Rule § 14-206.
This Petition be pursued when the property is deemed vacant. The requirements for determining if a property is vacant under this statute are relatively stringent but easily surmountable.
In the general course of business, this is not a suggested method of proceeding as Judges across Maryland have used their discretion to deny the Petitions, even if they comport to the statutes, and at the very least have been delayed in ruling on the Petition and allowing foreclosure cases to go forward.
In this current Pandemic situation, where complying with the Notice of Intent to Foreclose requirement has been made impracticable – the delays associated with this procedure are effectively a moot issue. However, it is a possibility that these Petitions are denied out of hand for violating the intent of the Executive Order (or for reasons that Judges previously denied these Petitions).
Please reach out to Greenspoon Marder LLP if you have any questions. And, as always, our Management Team is available 24/7 for our clients.