Foreclosure rules change

In order to address irregularities in the mortgage foreclosure process, the Maryland Court of Appeals, “finding that an emergency does in fact exist,” adopted new Rule 14-207.1 and amendments to Rules 1-311 and 14-207 concerning foreclosure proceedings in Maryland. The emergency rule allows circuit courts to appoint independent lawyers as part-time masters or examiners to review foreclosure documents for problems. If a problem with the lender’s paperwork is detected, it has 30 days to show—at its own expense— why the foreclosure action should not be dismissed.

Foreclosed

In general, the Rules changes mean that courts may screen affidavits filed in foreclosure cases, and if they have reason to believe that an affidavit may be invalid, enter an order directing the affiant, and where applicable, the notary, to appear before the court and establish that the affidavit is genuine, failing which the foreclosure action may be dismissed.

The Rules changes “govern the courts of this State and all parties and their attorneys in all actions and proceedings, and shall take effect and apply to all actions commenced on or after October 20, 2010, and insofar as practicable to all actions then pending.”

The Rules Order is posted on the Maryland Judiciary website: www.mdcourts.gov/rules/rodocs/ro166.pdf.