Maryland: Proposed Laws Affecting Real Estate
The Maryland General Assembly recently approved legislation that affects Maryland real estate. The new laws would affect condominium and homeowner’s association liens, real property taxes, residential foreclosures and destruction of land markers.
Priority of a Portion of Condominium & Homeowner’s Association Liens
The bill amends existing Sections 11-110 and 11B-117 of the Real Property Article to provide that in the event of a foreclosure of a condominium unit or lot in a homeowners association, a portion of the condominium’s or homeowners association’s liens on the unit equal to four months’ regular assessments, not to exceed $1,200, will have priority over a claim of the holder of a first priority mortgage or deed of trust that is recorded on or after October 1, 2011. The portion of the lien having priority may not include interest, costs of collection, late charges, fines, attorney’s fees or special assessments. The bill further provides that, upon request by the holder of first mortgage or deed of trust, the governing body of the condominium or homeowners association must provide written information about the portion of any lien that has priority, including information that is sufficient to determine the basis for the portion of the lien that has priority. (HB 1246)
Real Property Taxes
The bill amends Section 10-204.3 of the Tax-Property Article to increase the maximum amount of property taxes a business may owe and still be eligible for semiannual payments from $50,000 to $100,000. (HB 463)
Two bills amend Section 705.1(d)(1) of the Real Property Article. The first bill requires that an order to docket or a complaint to foreclose a mortgage or deed of trust on residential property shall include an affidavit stating that, at the time the notice of intent to foreclose was sent, the contents of such notice were accurate. (HB 366/SB 205)
A second bill provides that, in a residential foreclosure action, the court may not accept a lost note affidavit in lieu of a copy of the debt instrument unless the affidavit (i) states the reason why a copy of the debt instrument cannot be produced and (ii) describes the good faith efforts made to produce a copy of the instrument. (HB 412/SB 450)
Destruction/Removal of Markers
The bill amends Section 14-111 of the Real Property Article to increase from $500 to $2,500 the penalty for willful destruction or removal of stakes, markers, monuments, and other landmarks set in the property of another by a civil engineer, surveyor, or real estate appraiser. (HB 117/SB191)
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