Homeownership and lending practices
This section contains information on the national mortgage settlement, tax-lien foreclosures, deficiency judgements, and mortgage issues in Maryland.
Homeownership is a vital aspect of wealth-building for low-and-moderate income families. The mortgage crisis has had a disproportionately devastating effect on working families who have lost wealth and equity throughout the crisis. This has been particularly true for communities of color. Working families continue to be devastated by the foreclosure crisis, which shows few signs of waning in Maryland. Today, Maryland ranks second in the nation for foreclosures, lagging behind Florida. As of February 2014 there were 4,400 foreclosure filings, or 1 in every 543 homes. At least 214,170 homes are underwater in Maryland. These underwater homeowners have lost thousands of dollars in assets from the collapse of the housing bubble and high-cost loans. Get your home loan toolkit here.
MCRC has convened a housing justice coalition for the past three years which has met with regional bank leaders, pressed for affordable loan modifications, and better servicing for homeowners, particularly low-and-moderate income families. MCRC has led legislative efforts to improve Maryland's foreclosure process, to shorten the timeline for collection of mortgage-related debts, and to avert tax-lien foreclosures.
Since 2014, MCRC has also coordinated the Baltimore Homeownership Preservation Coalition (BHPC) which brings together government officials, financial institutions, community development groups, housing counselors, and others to promote neighborhood stabilization.
Here, you can also find information about the National Mortgage Settlement, and home-buying.
Tax Lien Foreclosures
In 2014, Baltimore homeowners could lose a home for $250 in unpaid taxes. A report from the Abell Foundation found that in 2014, 33% of tax-sale certificates (2,236) were for owner-occupied homes. The majority of homeowners who faced tax sale foreclosure were African Americans who live below the poverty level. Nearly half were elderly , 10 percent were veterans, while 32 percent reported being disabled. Women were disproportionately affected. Most had been in their home for 21 years or more. Read our testimony in support of the tax-lien legislation.
MCRC and other advocates worked to pass legislation in 2015 that would reduce the number of homeowners facing tax-lien foreclosures. Advocates were successful in passing legislation that raised the threshold for tax sale to $750, lengthens the period for redemption, and allows the city to create a payment plan.
However, we recognize that more needs to be done to help struggling homeowners remain in their homes, and MCRC has advocated in support of the tax-lein legislation designed to help Maryland's homeowners keep their homes.
If you are facing a tax sale, begin your search online for assistance.
MCRC was one of the first organizations to highlight problems with abusive and predatory mortgage products in Maryland. We’ve been working for years on a number of policies to make housing affordable and sustainable for Maryland families and reduce the number of foreclosures in the state. Read our report by clicking here.