A foreclosure is the legal means by which a lender can repossess your home. These state and federal resources are for homeowners and do not cover renters. If you are a renter, see how foreclosure affects tenants.
Recommendation: If you are currently experiencing issues paying your mortgage, contact your mortgage servicer to ask about forbearance options.
- Maryland Resources
- National Resources
- Resources for Veterans
- Avoiding Mortgage Prevention Scams
The Homeowner Assistance Fund helps homeowners experiencing financial hardship. The Fund can help homeowners struggling with their mortgage payments or other housing costs. The Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) manages the Fund. The Homeowner Assistance Fund Hotline can connect homeowners with free housing counseling and legal services. Visit their website to view the Hotline phone number or apply online.
The Maryland Department of Labor (DOL) Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation’s Foreclosure Help for Homeowners page provides:
- information on how to ask for assistance from your lender or mortgage servicer;
- how to get help from nonprofit agencies; and,
- how to avoid foreclosure prevention scams.
The agency’s site also summarizes the Mortgage Foreclosure Process and Maryland Residential Property Foreclosures laws and required forms.
You can submit a complaint about your lender or mortgage servicer or report a foreclosure prevention scam. To submit a complaint, go to Consumer Complaints and Inquiries.
The Maryland State Bar Association (MSBA) is the professional association for lawyers in the state. The Association provides continuing legal education, information about the law, and initiatives to improve the legal system for the public. MSBA’s Foreclosure Proceedings in Maryland brochure is a good resource on foreclosures in Maryland.
Homeowners may be able to receive free or low-cost legal representation through participating legal services organizations. These organization receive funding from the Maryland Legal Services Corporation. Representation may include attending mediations with homeowners and assisting with lender negotiations.
Participating Legal Service Organizations -
- Allegany Law Foundation
- Civil Justice
- Community Legal Services of Prince George's County
- Maryland Legal Aid Bureau
- Maryland Volunteer Lawyers Service
- Mid-Shore Pro Bono
- Public Justice Center
- Pro Bono Resources Center of Maryland
- St. Ambrose Housing Aid Center
Certified housing counselors can provide free, one-on-one housing counseling assistance to Anne Arundel County homeowners.
Baltimore City Department of Housing & Community Development - Emergency Mortgage & Housing Assistance Program (EMHAP)
The EMHAP assists Baltimore City homeowners whose homes are at risk of foreclosure due to economic hardship. The program provides assistance in the form of a direct payment to the mortgage company to pay past due mortgage charges. Homeowners without a mortgage can still receive assistance for past due homeowner’s insurance, property taxes, and water bills.
The Department of Housing and Community Development works with nonprofit partners to help homeowners prevent home mortgage foreclosures. A list of the current partner organizations can be found on the Department’s Foreclosure Prevention page.
DHCA’s Foreclosure Prevention page provides information on free foreclosure prevention counseling.
The Department of Social Services provides information, assistance and referrals to county residents facing foreclosure. The program screens applicants for eligibility, counseling, and provides referrals.
The Homeowners Hope Hotline connects distressed homeowners to free foreclosure counseling. Through one-on-one sessions, homeowners receive free, confidential and comprehensive financial and foreclosure prevention education. The Homeowners Hope Hotline is 1-888-995-4673 (HOPE).
Fannie Mae is a leading provider of mortgage financing in the U.S. The section of Fannie Mae’s site on Managing Financial Uncertainty provides a wealth of information about options and resources to help manage financial uncertainty, including:
- Tips for talking to your service provider
- Avoiding foreclosure
- Debunking myths about mortgage assistance
- Options to stay in your home
- Options to leave your home
- How mortgage assistance may impact your financial future
Fannie Mae provides free housing counseling services at 855-HERE2HELP (855-437-3243). You can also request an appointment by completing and submitting the online request form.
The site also provides access to useful calculators and tools to explore mortgage relief options and understand what you will need to bring your loan current:
- Loan Lookup Tool
- To explore mortgage relief options, it’s good to know who owns your mortgage. Use our Loan Lookup tool to find out.
- Mortgage Repayment Calculator
- If you've fallen behind in your mortgage payments, use this calculator to learn what you'll need to pay to bring your loan current.
Freddie Mac was chartered by Congress in 1970 to support the U.S. housing finance system and to help ensure a reliable and affordable supply of mortgage funds across the country. Rather than lending directly to borrowers, Freddie Mac operates in the U.S. secondary mortgage market, buying loans from primary lenders. Those primary lenders are then able to provide more loans to qualified borrowers. This keeps capital flowing into the housing market.
Freddie Mac’s Getting help with your mortgage page provides information on how to assess your situation, how to get help and understand the options available to you.
Freddie Mac provides free phone counseling through their national Freddie Mac Borrower Help Network at 877-300-4179 or at one of their Borrower Help Centers.
You can use Freddie Mac’s Loan Look-Up Tool to find out if Freddie Mac owns your loan and understand the options available to you.
If you’re a Veteran, or the surviving spouse of a Veteran, the VA will provide financial counseling, even if your loan is not a VA direct or VA-backed loan. If you have a VA direct or VA-backed loan, you can contact the VA to request that VA loan technician be assigned to your loan. Loans technicians can provide financial counseling and help deal with your loan servicer, or work with you directly in the case of a VA direct loan). If you have a VA direct or VA-backed loan that is more than 61 days past due, a VA Loan Technician will automatically be assigned.
You can contact a VA loan technician at 877-827-3702.
HUD provides help to veterans through the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act of 2003. The Act provides mortgage relief, termination of leases, protection from eviction, a six percent cap on interest rates, stay of foreclosure proceedings, and reopening of Default Judgments.
It is not uncommon for scammers to try to take advantage of homeowners in crisis. These types of scams are known as a foreclosure rescue scam, foreclosure relief scam, or mortgage company scam. If you receive an offer, information, or advice in a time of crisis, and it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.
Tips to avoid foreclosure prevention scams:
- DO NOT pay anyone in advance to assist you with a loan modification or other foreclosure prevention program.
- DO NOT send your mortgage payments to a third party, unless you have written approval from your lender or servicer.
- DO NOT believe someone offering a "way out" or "rescuing you from foreclosure." These "rescue scams" are illegal.
- DO be extremely cautious with businesses or individuals who identify themselves as “mortgage assistance relief professionals”, “loss mitigation consultants”, or “mortgage analysis and document review experts”; or businesses based out-of-state or partnering with an out-of-state attorney.
If you suspect that you have been a victim of a foreclosure scam, submit a Consumer Complaint to the Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation. To submit a complaint, go to Consumer Complaints and Inquiries, or contact the office via phone (410-230-6077) or email (CSU.Complaints@maryland.gov).