Crownsville, MD – When state officials launched Maryland’s foreclosure mediation program on July 1 last year, they hoped to slow the foreclosure machinery so that homeowners could find sustainable alternatives to losing their home and so that lenders would be more willing to negotiate with their borrowers.
In the past year, Maryland has had one of the sharpest drops in foreclosures in the country; hundreds of beleaguered homeowners have achieved positive outcomes – obtained loan modifications, agreed to a repayment plan or been able to bring their mortgage current and the state’s program is considered a national model. Taken together, those outcomes make the mediation program an important weapon in the state’s fight to prevent foreclosures, Secretary Skinner told the Washington Post recently, even though some observers told the paper they’d have liked to see more families choose mediation.
“We have made it a point to encourage families to seek help as early in the foreclosure process as possible,” Secretary Skinner says. “Often, the earlier they contact our MDHOPE counselors, the more likely we can help them find a solution that fits their circumstances.”
Learn more about Maryland’s foreclosure prevention efforts under the leadership of Governor Martin O’Malley, considered among the most comprehensive in the country. Since the crisis broke in 2007, more than 60,892 families have sought help through the MDHOPE Counseling Network, with network counselors achieving positive results in more than 92 percent of the completed cases. More than 7,727 families have obtained loan modifications.
In May, Maryland became the first state to close an Emergency Mortgage Assistance program loan under a new federal program designed to help homeowners facing foreclosure due to a temporary loss of income or illness.