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On February 22, the Maryland commissioner of financial regulation issued guidance that extends the “re-start date” for the initiation of residential foreclosures to April 1, 2021. The guidance is issued pursuant to the Maryland governor’s executive order 20-12-17-02, which amended and restated previous executive orders covered here, here, and here.
On February 17, the Maryland commissioner of financial regulation issued guidance specifying that stimulus payments to residents pursuant to the Maryland RELIEF Act of 2021 are exempt from garnishment and set-off laws.
On January 28, the Maryland commissioner of financial regulation issued guidance that extends the “re-start date” for the initiation of residential foreclosures to March 1, 2021. The guidance is issued pursuant to the Maryland governor’s executive order 20-12-17-02, which amended and restated previous executive orders covered here, and here.
On December 17, 2020, the governor of Maryland issued an executive order that further prohibits certain repossessions, suspends foreclosures of occupied residential property absent adherence to specific procedural protections, including those provided by the federal CARES Act. The foreclosure suspension is in effect until the “re-start date,” which is either (1) January 31, 2021, or (2) such later date as established by the commissioner of financial regulation, not to be more than 30 days after the state of emergency is terminated.
On October 16, 2020, the Maryland governor issued Executive Order 20-10-16-01 to amend and restate an April 3 executive order regarding foreclosures and repossessions (previously covered here). The executive order, among other things: (i) suspends requirements regarding the repossession of any chattel home by self-help until the state of emergency is terminated; (ii) suspends the sale of certain properties unless certain notices are provided, (iii) suspends the operation of the commissioner’s Notice of Intent to Foreclose Electronic System, and discontinues acceptance of Notices of Intent to Foreclose until January 4, 2021, and (iv) suspends any judgment for possession or repossession, or warrant for restitution of possession or repossession of residential, commercial, or industrial real property, if the tenant can demonstrate that he/she suffered a substantial loss of income resulting from Covid-19 or related events. Maryland’s commissioner of financial regulation issued a Foreclosure Update and Repossession Update outlining the executive order.
On July 31, the Maryland’s secretary of state provided updated guidance regarding the waived in-person notarization requirement as part of the state’s Covid-19 response (see here for previous coverage). The guidance provides requirements for performing remote notarizations, lists remote notary vendors, and provides a brief set of FAQ pertaining to remote notary practices in general. The temporary waiver of the in-person notarization requirement was ordered by Governor Hogan on March 30, and is set to expire when the declared state of emergency lifts.
On July 9, the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland denied a national bank’s request for interlocutory appeal of the court’s February decision denying the bank’s motion to dismiss an action, which alleged that the bank violated Maryland law by not paying interest on escrow sums for residential mortgages. As previously covered by InfoBytes, after the bank allegedly failed to pay interest on a consumer’s mortgage escrow account, the consumer filed suit against the bank alleging, among other things, a violation of Section 12-109 of the Maryland Consumer Protection Act (MCPA), which “requires lenders to pay interest on funds maintained in escrow on behalf of borrowers.” The court rejected the bank’s assertion that the state law is preempted by the National Bank Act (NBA) and by the OCC’s 2004 preemption regulations. The court concluded that under the Dodd-Frank Act, national banks are required to pay interest on escrow accounts when mandated by applicable state or federal law.
The bank subsequently moved for an interlocutory appeal. In denying the bank’s request, the court explained that there was not a difference of opinion among courts as to whether the NBA preempts Maryland’s interest on escrow law. Specifically, the court noted that its “conclusion aligns with the only other two courts that have examined [the] particular question,” citing to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit’s decision in Lusnak v Bank of America and the Eastern District of New York’s decision in Hymes v. Bank of America (covered by InfoBytes here and here, respectively). After finding there is no “difference of opinion as to any ‘controlling legal issue,’” the court concluded the motion failed to satisfy the requisite elements for an interlocutory appeal.
Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation issues advisories on customer identification for depository and non-depository institutions
On July 15, the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation issued industry advisories to depository and non-depository institutions on identification requirements for customers. In light of an executive order extending the expiration date for certain licenses, permits, and registrations, depository and non-depository institutions may continue to accept driver’s licenses and/or identification cards that expired or are eligible for renewal after March 12, 2020.
On June 19, the Maryland Department of Labor’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation issued the Covid-19 Health Crisis: Financial Relief Guide for Marylanders. Among other things, the guide contains information and resources regarding relief programs for consumers relating to economic impact payments, mortgage payments and foreclosure, rental evictions, student loans, automobile and personal loans, collections and garnishment, credit reporting, and insurance coverage and payments.
Maryland regulator reminds student loan servicers of obligation to report suspended payments as current
On May 18, the Office of the Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation issued an advisory to student loan servicers and credit reporting agency registrants to remind them of their furnishing obligations under the federal CARES Act to ensure that suspended payments are not reported as delinquent. The advisory notes that it has come to the office’s attention that a student loan servicer of a significant amount of federal student loan debt was not accurately furnishing information and reminds servicers that under Maryland’s Student Loan Servicing Bill of Rights, it is a violation of Maryland law to knowing or recklessly provide inaccurate information or refuse to correct it.
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