When a person falls behind on their mortgage payments, their mortgage company will take steps to collect the debt.  A common tool that mortgage companies use is foreclosure.  Foreclosure proceedings differ slightly depending on what state the property is located, but the basics are the same.  The mortgage company sells the property at a public auction.  The homeowner may have very little or no control over the sale and stands to lose the equity in the property.  A foreclosure sale is rarely in the best interest of the homeowner.  Luckily, there are important new laws and protections in Maryland that give the homeowner more notice and more time to fashion a solution to a foreclosure problem.  In addition, there are other ways to avoid the foreclosure even if the homeowner does not have the funds to bring the loan current.

If the homeowner wants to keep the property, the first step should be to contact the mortgage company to explore any available options. If there are no other workable options for the homeowner, they may stop the foreclosure sale by filing a bankruptcy case.  In most cases, a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy  allows the homeowner to catch up on the missed mortgage payments over time.  Two very important benefits of a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy are that the property does not need to have any equity and the homeowner will not lose the equity that has accumulated.

There are also many investors that offer services that will stop the foreclosure sale and allow the homeowner to keep the property.  Some of these services are viable options, but we caution anyone when dealing with real estate investors. It is extremely important to read every document that you intend to sign and to obtain a copy of every document and agreement.  You should also seek the advice of an attorney if you have any questions about the documents involved.   However, there are many trustworthy investors that in fact want to help homeowners, but there are also some whose only intent is to steal all of the equity in the property.  If you are facing foreclosure and would like assistance in negotiating with your mortgage company or investors, or are considering a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, do not hesitate to call us.

Once foreclosure proceedings begin, the mortgage company is required to provide notice of the sale and to give the homeowner an opportunity to dispute the debt. Sometimes the procedures are not followed properly and provide a basis for objecting to the foreclosure sale.  If you believe that Maryland foreclosure proceedings have been initiated against you improperly or that a Maryland foreclosure sale was conducted improperly, contact us for assistance.

If a property is sold at a foreclosure auction, there will be an accounting of the sale.  This accounting lists the proceeds from the sale and outlines where those proceeds were applied.  If the proceeds from the auction were not sufficient to pay the outstanding mortgage balance, costs, and liens on the property there will be a deficiency.  The homeowner is responsible for paying the deficiency even though they no longer own the property.  In some cases, the proceeds from the sale exceed the mortgage balance, outstanding liens, and foreclosure costs.  In this case, there are surplus proceeds from the sale and the homeowner should make a claim for this money.  If your property was sold at a foreclosure sale, you should carefully review the accounting of the sale to determine if there is a deficiency or surplus proceeds.  If you need assistance with post foreclosure matters in Maryland, contact us right away.

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    John J. Bascietto, Esq.
    Brian R. Bregman, Esq.

    Administrative / Paralegal Staff:
    Tira Barnes
    Samantha Pace

    Bascietto & Bregman, LLC
    515 Main Street
    Laurel, Maryland 20707-4117
    Phone: (301) 362-0009
    Fax: (301) 362-0020