Testifying before members of Maryland's Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee and the House Environmental Matters Committee this week, Gov. Martin O'Malley and Rep. Elijah Cummings called for the passage of a foreclosure mediation bill.
In his 2010 legislative package, O'Malley introduced emergency legislation that would give Maryland borrowers facing foreclosure the legal right to mediation with the lender seeking the foreclosure.
‘The legislation the Committee considers today is designed to empower fellow Marylanders, putting them on a more equal footing with mortgage companies,’ O'Malley said Tuesday. "It is designed to give borrowers the information they need at an early stage, as well as the right to have access to their lenders when they feel they are unfairly being denied a loan modification or other loss mitigation options."
The bill gives Maryland borrowers the right to a foreclosure mediation process upon filing of foreclosure proceedings. It requires lenders and servicers to use the 45-day period prior to the filing of the foreclosure action "more productively" to achieve loan modifications where possible by requiring the notice to include a loss mitigation application, a statement from O'Malley's office says.
"During my 14 years in Congress, I have found that no issue has created more heartache in our communities than the current foreclosure crisis," Cummings added in his testimony.