Skip to Content Accessibility Information

Maryland's Mortgage Foreclosure Process - Financial Regulation

This page summarizes the foreclosure process for mortgages on owner-occupied residential properties in Maryland and provides brief explanations of some of the documents sent to homeowners. This information is not intended as legal advice. See also Foreclosure Proceedings in Maryland on the Maryland State Bar Association website. For information and tips on avoiding foreclosure, see Foreclosure Help for Homeowners.

1) Missed Mortgage Payment

  • The lender or mortgage servicer mails a Notice of Intent to Foreclose (NOI) to the homeowner after the first missed payment or other contractual default on a mortgage.
  • The NOI is a warning notice that a foreclosure could be filed in court. It must be sent no less than 45 days before the foreclosure is filed.
  • The NOI may include a Loss Mitigation Application. If the homeowner would like to avoid foreclosure, they need to complete and submit the Loss Mitigation Application as instructed.
  • Maryland law requires the lender or servicer to send a copy of the NOI to the Office of Financial Regulation. The Office mails outreach letters to homeowners who have received an NOI and uses the NOI data for investigations and supervision of mortgage lenders.

2) Foreclosure Filed in Court

  • The Order to Docket (OTD) is the first filing of the foreclosure action in court. It may also be called a “Complaint to Foreclose” or “Notice of Foreclosure Action”.
  • The homeowner will be personally served with an OTD if no loss mitigation option is agreed upon after the NOI, or if a loss mitigation decision is still pending.
  • The OTD can be filed in court as soon as 90 days after the first missed payment (or 120 days if the loan is covered by federal law).
  • The OTD will include either a Preliminary or Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit.
    • A Preliminary Loss Mitigation Affidavit will be filed with the OTD if the lender or servicer has not started or not yet completed the loss mitigation review. Once the lender or servicer completes the review, and if there are no available alternatives to foreclosure, a Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit will then be filed and mailed to homeowner.
    • A Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit will be filed when the lender or servicer has completed the loss mitigation review. For eligible homeowners, this affidavit will come with a “Request for Foreclosure Mediation” form. The homeowner must complete and submit this form by the deadline in order to participate in mediation.

3) Foreclosure Mediation (optional for eligible homeowners)

  • Mediation is a meeting between the homeowner, their lender or servicer, and a neutral third party (called an “administrative law judge”). The purpose of mediation is to give all parties an opportunity to openly discuss alternatives to foreclosure.
  • The homeowner has 25 days to request foreclosure mediation after receipt, or date of mailing, of the Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit. The homeowner should submit the Request for Mediation form as soon as possible with the $50 fee to their county Circuit Court.
  • Once received by the court, the mediation request will be forwarded to the Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH). OAH will assign an administrative law judge, and schedule and hold the mediation within 60 days after transmittal of the request for mediation.
  • Homeowners who have requested mediation should watch their mail – notice of the date of their mediation will come from the OAH. If a homeowner fails to appear for their mediation, OAH will notify the court and the foreclosure sale will be scheduled.
  • To increase the chances of a successful mediation, the homeowner should come prepared with all their loss mitigation documents.
  • Learn more about foreclosure mediation and how to access legal support.

4) Foreclosure Sale and Eviction

  • The foreclosure sale (also referred to as the “foreclosure auction”) is when the lender or servicer sells the property securing the mortgage loan.
  • If the homeowner does not request mediation, the sale can occur as soon as 45 days after receipt of a Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit, or 30 days from the date the Final Loss Mitigation Affidavit was mailed to the homeowner.
  • If the homeowner requests mediation, the sale can occur as soon as 15 days after a mediation hearing if no agreement is reached.
  • After a foreclosure sale, the homeowner has 30 days from the date of a report of sale to file an objection to the sale in court. If no objections are filed, or if the objections filed are overruled by the judge, then the court will ratify the sale. Ratification is necessary before title transfers to the purchaser.
  • The homeowner can be evicted from the property as soon as 15 days after the court ratifies the sale. Homeowners are encouraged to plan for alternative housing earlier in the process to avoid a forced eviction. However, if a homeowner vacates the property before the lender or other purchaser takes possession, they may still be responsible for property maintenance, taxes and related charges.

Return to Foreclosure Help Homepage