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Md. governor, attorney general, congressman call for voluntary foreclosure freeze


Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, left, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, shake hands after Bloomberg announced his endorsement for O'Malley's re-election bid last week in Bethesda, Md.

(Photo Credit: AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) has joined the state's attorney general and Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (D) to call on mortgage servicers to voluntarily halt foreclosure proceedings.

O'Malley said in statement that companies that improperly prepared affidavits in foreclosure cases are "trampling laws that were designed specifically to protect homeowners in default."

Maryland is not one of the 23 states that require a court order for a foreclosure and therefore was not included in the moratoriums announced by Bank of America, J.P. Morgan Chase and Ally Financial.

Here's the full letter.

In a letter send late Monday that was addressed to the three banks plus Wells Fargo, PNC Bank, CitiMortgage and OneWest Bank, the public officials said they are "seriously concerned that similar problems likely exist in our state."

O'Malley said he requested the suspension of foreclosures while the state explores the "legal avenues available."

A spokesman for the governor's office said Tuesday that "Maryland's situation may very well be that the option to order a temporary halt to foreclosures does not exist, and therefore we'll continue to pursue voluntary partnerships with loan servicers."

Ally Financial declined to comment about specific states but said the company takes "this matter very seriously and are acting with urgency to resolve the issue."

By Ariana Eunjung Cha  | October 5, 2010; 11:22 AM ET
Categories:  Housing  
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In Maryland, for situations where a foreclosure is pending and a payment can't be made, I recommend the bank's use of some form of negative amortization, as an option to an immediate eviction. For in this part of the country, the market is still strong enough to make this both a prudent and viable near term approach. Otherwise, what we may see is that the fall in regional property values, which then result from a large number of foreclosures, may instead create an even greater loss for these large financial institutions who continue to seek to make the most money that they can. For today, the goal is to minimize loss until the trend reverses. And to understand this way of thinking better, I recommend taking lessons in how to win at Black Jack. I did, and do. And so my home is mine.

Posted by: jralger | October 5, 2010 12:11 PM | Report abuse

Ah yes this is what the American way has become: you aren't making payments so what do you do look for a loophole and say the docs weren't right so they can't kick you out. Now oddly enough if you live within a budget plan for emergencies such losing your job and don't borrow more than you can afford then you don't have these problems.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 5, 2010 12:30 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. Are they trying to make it easier and faster for the banks to steal the homes from the homeowner's, or are they trying to help protect homeowner's. Most people want to stay in their home and buy it. The loans were all over-appraised and deliberately intended to default within a few years--since the income was not verified correctly. All of the loans should be re-negotiated at today's value. The worst thing to do is let the banks steal millions of homes away from people. We already bailed the banks out --with FREE taxpayer money. Now they continue to loan us back our money at the highest interest and worst terms. The banks burned people on the way in and now they are making another killing by stealing homes back from people so they can re-sell and collect a bunch of new fees.

This is a failure of the Democrats. They have had the majority rule and could have done stuff to help the people. Instead they helped the fat cat banks (who gave themselves million dollar bonuses).

Vote these partisan scumbags out of office befor they get a chance to pass weak "immigration reform" that provided amnesty to millions of illegals. Don't let them put the last nail in your coffin.

Posted by: maphound | October 5, 2010 12:57 PM | Report abuse

Peace, Love, Dove.

Posted by: | October 5, 2010 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Can you tell it's an election year?
Borrowers are in default at historic levels. We do not live in the era of Ma & Pa Kettle. Loan payment histories are maintained on computers, so it makes sense for computer records to be reviewed to determine amounts owed. This "fix" is going to worsen the housing crisis and prolong the decline in housing prices.

Posted by: Anonymous | October 6, 2010 6:54 AM | Report abuse

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