April 14, 2010

Rules on foreclosure in Md. toughened

ANNAPOLIS — Lawmakers toughened foreclosure rules in the waning hours of the 2010 legislative session, mandating new steps in the foreclosure process designed to keep Marylanders in their homes and paying off their loans. Homeowners will be able to request mediation sessions with the holders of their loans to give them the opportunity to work on modifications. The foreclosure mediation legislation was a high priority for Gov. Martin O’Malley in a year in which his agenda focused heavily on plugging holes left by the recession.

The mediation law will “protect homeownership by giving every family the ability to bring these faceless mortgage servicing giants to the table before a family can be thrown out of their home in a foreclosure action,” O’Malley said Tuesday morning before signing some 170 bills. Among the new laws signed by O’Malley, House Speaker Michael E. Busch and Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr., was the Maryland False Health Claims Act of 2010. It will allow the state or citizens to file suit to recover fraudulent claims made to Medicaid or other state health programs. The law allows for a civil penalty up to $10,000 and triple damages. SOURCE: Maryland Daily Record

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