Last week I drafted a Motion to Stay and Dismiss under Maryland Rule 14-211 under the supervision of Maryland attorney Brian Gormley. I learned a lot in the process. I audited the file for the homeowner and then drafted the Motion using the evidence I found in the audit.
What happens if you go to mediation in Maryland and don’t reach an agreement with the bank?
Maryland Rule 14-211 provides that the homeowner can file a Motion to Stay and Dismiss after mediation, but it should be filed by fifteen days after the mediation:
(2) Time for filing.
(A) Owner-occupied residential property. In an action to foreclose a lien on owner-occupied residential property, a motion by a borrower to stay the sale and dismiss the action shall be filed no later than 15 days after the last to occur of:
(i) the date the final loss mitigation affidavit is filed;
(ii) the date a motion to strike foreclosure mediation is granted; or
(iii) if foreclosure mediation was requested and the request was not stricken, the first to occur of:
(a) the date the foreclosure mediation was held;
(b) the date the Office of Administrative Hearings files with the court a report stating that no foreclosure mediation was held; or
(c) the expiration of 60 days after transmittal of the borrower’s request for foreclosure mediation or, if the Office of Administrative Hearings extended the time to complete the foreclosure mediation, the expiration of the period of the extension.
There are provisions for late filings for good cause:
(C) Non-compliance; extension of time. For good cause, the court may extend the time for filing the motion or excuse non-compliance.
However, I looked at a couple of appeals court decisions that suggested to me that “good cause” is at the discretion of the lower court, so avoid filing late if possible.
Ideally, if you’re a homeowner, you are already working with an experienced foreclosure defense attorney who if aware of these timelines. That was not the situation with the case I worked on — the homeowner’s previous counsel did not advise her of the fifteen days. I don’t think she really had a mediation as defined by the statute, but I have more to say on that situation in another blog post.
The main point I want to get across here is this:
If you plan to pursue foreclosure defense to save your home in Maryland, be mindful of the time allow under the Rule to file the Motion to Stay and Dismiss.
If you hired an attorney who is not familiar with foreclosure defense, he/she may not be familiar with the Rule.
Go here to read the Rule. Search 14-211 and you’ll see “Sales of Property.” Click on that to see the rule.