Frequently Asked Questions About the Divorce Process in Maryland

Going through divorce is never an easy process. It doesn’t help that there’s a great deal of confusion regarding the actual legal steps and requirements along the way. This guide will offer some insight specifically into Maryland divorce FAQs for individuals and couples residing in the state.
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What are the grounds for absolute divorce in Maryland?

Maryland recognizes a handful of different grounds for absolute divorce. The first is a 12 month continuous separation period, during which the two parties have been residing separately, in separate places of abode, without martial relations or cohabitation, continuously and uninterruptedly for the entirety of the separation period. After this, a complaint for absolute divorce may be filed.
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One new avenue that applies to certain couples is that of mutual consent. With mutual consent, there is no minimum separation period. However, it only applies to parties who have no minor children in common, and those who have a signed, legal separation agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement, which has resolved all issues arising out of the marriage, including but not limited to alimony and division of marital property.
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Beyond those two, there are other grounds for divorce. These include adultery, cruelty, desertion, excessively vicious conduct, insanity, and the conviction of certain crimes whereby the party is incarcerated for three years or more.
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What’s the difference between absolute and limited divorce, as well as fault and no fault, and contested vs. uncontested divorce?
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-Absolute vs. Limited Divorce: Absolute divorce is the official legally decreed end to a marriage. Limited divorce is utilized in certain circumstances, usually when the Parties cannot establish grounds for an Absolute Divorce. However, with a Limited Divorce, the marriage is not officially terminated and the Parties cannot remarry.
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-Fault vs. No Fault: There are different grounds for either fault or no fault divorce. In Maryland, the 12 month separation and mutual consent decrees are both no fault divorces, while the other grounds for absolute divorce discussed above are considered at fault.
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-Uncontested vs. Contested: Uncontested divorces are those in which the two parties have come to their own solution, either before filing for divorce, or during the divorce, whether through mediation or negotiation, by way of separation agreement or Marital Settlement Agreement.
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What are the rules for separation and separation agreements for Maryland divorce?
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Separation agreements are not required in the state of Maryland, although they are helpful in certain circumstances. As far as separation periods, the 12 month separation period is one ground for absolute divorce, while mutual consent has no separation period requirement.
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Of course, this has all been a very brief overview of some of the most pressing frequently asked questions about divorce in Maryland. For more information on your own case or circumstances, be sure to consult with an experienced attorney in your area who can provide you with guidance on your best course of action.

What Are the Grounds for Divorce in Maryland?

Understanding the different grounds for filing divorce in the state of Maryland is essential to anyone who is going through the process, or may be going through the process in the future. All states are different as well in regards to the laws and guidelines they have in place for divorce, which is why it’s crucial to find state-specific information for where you’re based.
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There are several specific grounds for divorce within Maryland. One of these is adultery, in which you have to prove that your spouse had the disposition and opportunity to commit adultery.
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Another grounds for divorce in Maryland is cruelty or abuse. This can be proven via a witness, or also via documentation and presented evidence, including photographs and medical records, for instance.
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There are also several other grounds for divorce in Maryland, which may be less common than the above. Constructive desertion is one, in which case you show that your spouse has deserted you for a period of at least a year. Other grounds include insanity, as well as a criminal conviction, and in both cases, there are various timelines which need to be met depending on the specifics of your circumstances.

Now, there doesn’t always need to be one of these specific grounds in order for a couple to split up and be divorced. When none of the above apply, the divorce becomes known as a no fault divorce. In this instance, the actual grounds for the divorce is a 12 month separation period. The couple must be continuously separated over this entire period and they are then able to officially file their divorce paperwork.

Maryland also has added mutual consent as one of the state’s grounds for divorce. This applies to couples who do not have children and who have put an agreement in place for how to handle all other issues to resolve the marriage in terms of property or finances. In this case, the 12 month separation period of a typical no fault divorce as specified above is no longer required.

As mentioned, it’s important to note that all of the above only specifically reflects the state of Maryland. Other states may vary quite substantially in terms of the grounds of divorce that they recognize or not, or the specific ways those grounds are defined, regulated, or enforced. Always be sure to consult with an experienced legal professional from your state and local area who can guide you through the process.

All About Ocean City MD

Bring your family to Ocean City Md for a weekend, mini week or stay for a week or longer.

Maryland

Ocean City Maryland is a favorite vacation seashore destination on the Mid-Atlantic Coast, USA. Ocean City Maryland offers quality family recreation for all. When in Ocean City, Maryland visit the historic building which houses Ocean City history and that of the U. Enjoy a wide variety of Ocean City, Maryland hotels, motels and condo rentals to fit any budget. Ocean City Maryland is a peninsula stretching some 9 miles in length and bordered by the Atlantic Ocean and the Bays. It is within a few hours drive from New York, Philadelphia, PA, Baltimore, MD and Washington DC and its suburbs of Maryland and Virginia.

Beach

Ocean City Maryland Offers some 10 miles of clean sandy beaches on the Atlantic Ocean, a boardwalk stretching some 20 blocks, quality hotels and motels, and vacation rental homes and condo’s, and is bordered on the West by the inland bays. Located directly on the beach, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, we offer you the ultimate in comfort and convenience. While the pristine sandy beaches of Ocean City MD are a major enjoyment for visitors, Ocean City also boasts one of the Atlantic Coasts most enjoyable boardwalks, numerous marinas, local professional golf courses, quality restaurants, family amusements, and fishing and boating. Over the last several decades, Ocean City, Maryland has grown from a small seaside fishing village to become one of the most popular beach vacation destinations in the United States.

What to Look For in a Locksmith

Locksmith
When looking for a locksmith in Columbia, Maryland, or anywhere, its important to keep some basic keys in mind. One needs to know what services are typically provided by a locksmith. Staying informed of who is reliable and trustworthy can save heartache, frustration, and more importantly, your valuables and safety. Distinguishing between good and phony locksmiths in Columbia, Maryland is essential, because not everyone who claims to be a locksmith is legitimate. Some are swindlers, cheats, and crooks. Finally, choosing a local, established locksmith is a wise choice.

What services are provided?
The services provided by a locksmith in Columbia, Maryland include both home and auto services. Auto services include making keys and opening locked cars. This includes getting authorization for and making keys with transponder chips.” Residential services include entry, re-keying, deadbolt and peep hole installation, safes, window locks, high-security and bump-proof locks, and door repairs, among other services. Standard locksmith services should have the effect of contributing to family safety and helping in time of emergency, such as lock out.

What are the characteristics of a reliable and trustworthy locksmith?
There are at least five characteristics that distinguish a reliable and trustworthy locksmith. First consideration should be years in business and company experience at providing the services. Next to it, know whether the technicians are qualified and trustworthy. Ask for identification when the technician arrives. A reputable business will offer free quotes and provide references. A trusted service should be able to provide same-day service and 24-hour emergency service without breaking the bank. Reliable locksmiths in Columbia, Maryland are licensed, bonded, and insured, and inquire by whom.

What distinguishes a good and a phony locksmith?
With these characteristics in mind, it is easier to determine who is legitimate or phony. This is vital because phony or crooked locksmiths may charge too much, have poor workmanship, or charge exorbitant fees, and they have the tools to rip off the customer with the trust placed in them. Consider that they have the keys to your home, safe, or car. With such high stakes, research companies beforehand, check their references, check reviews via Internet, and check with the Better Business Bureau. For example, even emergency lockout services should be no more than a couple hundred dollars. When a locksmith does not shoe the marks of reliability, keep searching.

Why should someone choose a local locksmith?
To further assist the search, the chosen locksmith in the Columbia, Maryland, area should be a local company. A local office with local people in the office increases the business’ accountability with the community. A local company should be able to provide references that can be contacted in the neighborhood, not simply in other cities or states.

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Choosing a locksmith is a serious decision considering family safety and well-being. Choosing a trusted, experienced service with highly trained service people is vital. Choosing a local locksmith in Columbia, Maryland is a wise choice.

Educate Yourself on Home Selling Mistakes to Avoid

If you haven’t tuned in to A&E’s TV show, Sell This House, you’re missing out. Helping naive home sellers showcase their homes for sale is the primary show concept, but the real thunder-stealer is the hidden-camera video shown to sellers that reveals what potential buyers are saying about the home for sale during walk-through’s. You’ll either need a box of tissue to dampen your tears or a tall drink of water after you laugh yourself silly. The point is that Maryland home sellers need to be aware of home seller pitfalls that can destroy the chance to make a great home sale with a home buyer.

Mistake number one, do not get emotionally involved in your home sale. This is probably one of the most difficult Maryland home seller mistakes to overcome. It’s necessary to remove yourself from the memories in the home your selling and begin to think and strategize like a business person. Remember how you felt when you purchased your home and know that Maryland buyers are in that same mindset now. With a little staging, remodeling and partnering with your Maryland real estate agent, you’ll sell your home in no time.

Next is mistake number two, selling your home in winter. Unless you have the option to sell in spring, summer or fall, avoid listing your Maryland home for sale during the frosty months. Most people in Maryland are preoccupied with the holidays, busy with social engagements and prefer to stay at home when the weather is chilly outside. On the other hand, with a lack of buyers comes a lack of competing homes and you may be able to secure a foothold in the marketplace for Maryland home sales.

This third mistake is aesthetic-based, being frugal with listing photos. The Internet is what it is – the World Wide Web. And just like it’s name implies, people are using it to access information and images online. Your photos should be clear, crisp and accentuate the positive aspects of your Maryland home for sale. Don’t be stingy with your photography. Include as many options and angles as possible so that buyers have a good sense of the house you’re selling.

Mistake number four sounds like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised. Do not try to hide problems. If there’s something amiss or askew in your Maryland home for sale, you should fix it, adjust your listing price to account for the problem or acknowledge the problem to the buyer and offer a credit to repair it. Remember, during a Maryland home for sale inspection, problems will be revealed. Be upfront and get them corrected beforehand.

A final mistake to refrain from is not carrying proper insurance. As a Maryland home seller, you’ll have quite a few people passing on and through your property. This has the potential to become a nightmare situation if someone becomes injured and decides to sue you. Take precautions during showings and put the dogs away, keep children away from the pool and forewarn buyers about any obstacles that could be hazardous.

Avoiding the above mistakes as a Maryland home seller will assist you in making the home sale a smooth and efficient process.

Charter Away to the Preakness

The Kentucky Derby is in the books. A horse won and now he or she is the favorite (usually) in the second race of the Triple Crown derby: The Preakness. It is a flat horse race run by three year old thoroughbreds and it happens each year two weeks after the Kentucky Derby and three weeks before the last jewel in the crown, the Belmont Stakes.

This race is run at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore Maryland and it spans 9.5 furlongs. It was first contested back in 1873 and traditionally it is second in attendance only to the granddaddy of all races, the Kentucky Derby.

If you live near Maryland it's a relative breeze to see the fastest three year olds in action but if you have to fly there's always the production of flying commercial to deal with – Without a course you choose to charter a jet to get you and your party there on time and in style.

Chartering a jet is cheaper than you may think and best of all you can choose your own schedule. Forget about long lines trying to clear security, and being squished in your seat for hours at a time. Not when you charter. Chartered jets give you ample leg, shoulder, elbow and head room and you can usually configure the seats any way you'd like. There is entertainment at the tips of your fingers, a galley for snacks or meals on the way and the security of knowing your bags are with you at all times. No baggage carousel for you!

You will arrive refreshed and happy and in time for the singing of Maryland, My Maryland and the infield party that is always a great time. After the race you can watch the painter climb to the weather vane to paint the winning colors on the horse and jockey that adorn it. Heck, you will even be there to see the winning horse get his blanket of Black Eyed Susan's, the state flower of Maryland though they can not use real ones since they do not bloom until July. That can remain our little secret …

Not surprisingly, the mega star of the horse racing world, Secretariat still holds the speed record for the Preakness Stakes. He won in 1:53 back in 1973 which was the middle race of his Triple Crown. Now you too can be a star … when you choose to charter.

Reasons to Hire a Family Attorney

There are many family issues that arise where the assistance of a family attorney must be bought. This is why it is wise for those having a case handled through the Maryland court system to hire a local Maryland family attorney. There are many attorneys that have plenty of in-depth knowledge and experience to help settle issues such as divorce or child support, but hiring a local attorney has its own advantages. An effective Maryland family attorney licensed by the State Bar can handle their case in an efficient manner. Below are several reasons to hire a Maryland family attorney.

State Law
When hiring a Maryland family lawyer, a client can rest assured their attorney will have an extensive knowledge of any state and local laws that apply to the case being handled. All states across the entire nation have different laws. Many of the laws are similar, but they do have differences that should always be noticed when taken into a courtroom.

Knowledge
Any attorney who does not regularly practice law within Maryland, especially in the exclusively busy jurisdictions of Montgomery and Prince George's counties, will not have the knowledge needed to effectively handle a domestic court case; however, a local specialist will have the experience needed to prove he can be of the utmost value when handling a case involving dispute, custody, visitation, adoption and similar issues in the State of Maryland.

Familiarity
Maryland family attorneys can also prove valuable when they are familiar with local judges, other lawyers and courthouse personnel. This often makes it easier for them to handle negotiations with familiar faces and focus on aspects that certain judges deem more important than others. All local processes differ throughout the country, but a professional professional increments the chance of a client winning a case because of their comfortableness within local courtrooms and familiarity with the nuances of filing procedures and guidelines.

Local Juries
When there are jurives involved within a court case, it is essential to hire a professional that frequently encounters local residents, because they can help decipher the attributions of local jurors. Understanding the local sentiment of a jury can sometimes be the difference between winning and losing a case. A local attorney uses their understanding of current events, local attitudes and biases to their advantage when moving a case in the right direction.

Contact
Hiring an area attorney also makes it easy for a client to stay in contact with their family lawyer. This adds extra peace of mind when involved within a sensitive and personal court case. When meeting in person, it is less time consuming and more convenient, saving the client money and time as well.

Selecting A Custom Home Builder

Finding a Maryland Custom Home Builder can be very exciting, very rewarding and VERY nerve racking if the proper “Due Diligence” is not exercised.

Beware of the BAITERS!

What is a BAITERS?

A “Baiter” is a Builder that will quote a ridiculously low price per square foot dollar amount. The low price per square foot grabs your attention. The tactic / ploy then entices you to contact the Custom Builder. It is when you start “peeling back the onion” that you start to realize that the ridiculously low price per square foot number didn’t include everything (site work, all permits, etc…) and is being quoted with low grade / sub standard materials.

What are the “Make Sure” things to do when selecting a Maryland Custom Home Builder?

1) Make Sure that the price quoted by ANY Maryland Custom Home Builder is ALL inclusive. This includes, but is not limited to, ALL of the permits, ALL of the necessary site work (driveway, excavations, septic, etc…) and ALL of the necessary hookups (water & sewer, well & septic, gas & electric). NO surprises later, when it’s too late. If you are not a handyman you will want the Custom Home Building process to be completely “Turn-Key”.

2) Make Sure that you compare “Apples to Apples” when comparing materials used by any Maryland New Home Builder. The use of 2×4 construction versus 2×6 construction, Formica Countertops versus Granite Counter tops, Single Hung windows versus Double Hung Windows, Brick versus Vinyl Siding, Grades of Cabinets, Grades of Carpet, Grades of Appliances, the list can go on and on… The best thing to do is run a computer spreadsheet comparing the included specifications of one perspective Custom Home Builder to another Custom Home Builder.

3) Make Sure that you visit a couple of Custom Homes that are under construction to check out “Build Quality” and actual materials used. If you see a subcontractor / vendor onsite, don’t take up an inordinate amount of time (they are working) but ask them, “Do you like working for this particular Custom Builder?” If there are any payment problems or if it is a poorly run jobsite you maybe surprised at the candid answers you will receive. Notice the condition of the job site. Is it sloppy or messy? This may be an indication of a “I don’t care” attitude.

4) Make Sure there is a communication process in place during construction. EVERY week you should be informed of what events are scheduled on your home for that particular week. Pictures, emails, phone calls, etc… are all excellent tools for a Maryland Custom Home Builder to stay in touch with their client.

5) Make Sure that ANY builder you are considering has EXCELLENT customer references. Contact several references and ask them about their overall experience with the Custom Builder. If people weren’t happy with their experience – they will tell you.

6) Make Sure you check for any lien or judgment history against the Maryland Custom Builder you are considering. In Maryland, for example, there is the Maryland Judiciary Site http://casesearch.courts.state.md.us/inquiry/inquiry-index.jsp. Here you can check for outstanding liens, judgments, lawsuits, etc… against all builders you are considering. Keep in mind, legitimate disputes happen in business. What you want to look for is a pattern. It could very well give good insight on the health of the company. Check with local licensing requirements for a Home Builder. Custom Home Builders In Maryland have to be registered with the state of Maryland’s Home Builder Registration Unit. (1-877-259-4525 http://www.oag.state.md.us/homebuilder )

A Custom Home can be the largest financial decision in your life.

If the proper “Due Diligence” is performed upfront, it can also be one of the most rewarding decisions in your life!

The Eastern Shore of Maryland – Small Water Oriented Towns Steeped in Chesapeake Bay History

The state of Maryland is divided in half by the Chesapeake Bay. Before the Chesapeake Bay Bridge was built in 1952, the Eastern shore was physically and socially removed from the Western Shore. While the state capital, Annapolis, and Baltimore, a shipping and industrial town are located on the Western Shore, the Eastern Shore was compromised of small towns, farms, and water oriented communities. In the late 1800's steam boats brought some tourists to the Eastern Shore to escape the heat of urban areas.

The building of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge increased tourism and historically swelled the population of that formerly removed section of Maryland. While things have changed dramatically, there are still remnants of the old fashioned charm of the Eastern Shore, much of which can be found along Route 33, just west of Easton.

Saint Michael's is just such a place. Once, a thriving ship building and waterman's' town, St. Michael's today has retained its quaint historical atmosphere. On weekends, the main street is busy with tourists, shopping at the boutiques, galleries, antique shops, and craft stores.

The Chesapeake Bay Maritime Museum, open since 1965, draws visitors interested in a peek at history. Featuring both indoor and outdoor displays, old boats, a lighthouse, and several outbuildings, the Chesapeake Maritime Museum holds festivals centered around the area's history, commerce, and fishing. In September, the museum holds its annual Mid-Atlantic Small Crafts Festival, drawing people who enjoy skiffs, canoes, and kayaks for workshops and demonstrations.

The community also draws boats with its marina, and offers boat charters for a ride on the Bay or a day of fishing.

Cyclists enjoy the area for its level roads, which, once past St. George. Michael's, are reliably quiet.

Keep traveling west on Route 33, past St. Michael's to the public boat ramp at Claiborne. You will not find much to do in Claiborne and therein lies its appeal. A small town of a very few homes, Claiborne is named for the man responsible for the first naval battle in North America. Having established himself as a tobacco farmer and trapper in the early 1600's, William Claiborne strongly opposed to being included in the new territory of Maryland, drawing the ire of Maryland's first governor, Leonard Calvert.

Route 33 ends at Tilghman's Island, an attractive water oriented community on the Chesapeake Bay. Here, you will find farms, a marina, and beautiful older homes. Do not worry about crowds on Tilghmans' Island. A slow drive along its streets is a pleasure when you see the historic homes and excellent water views. Tilghman's Island ends at Black Walnut Point, a wonderful spot for fishing, bird watching, and dramatic Chesapeake Bay sunsets.

Ocean City, Maryland – Fun All Year Round

Ocean City, Maryland is an excellent East Coast beach – ten miles of clean, white sand set on a barrier island between the Atlantic Ocean and the Sinepuxent Bay. Summer water temperatures rise to a comfortable 70 degrees Fahrenheit or warmer, thanks to the Gulf Stream Current which runs north, just off-shore. Waves break between three to six feet high; perfect for body surfing, bogey boarding, or just having a great time.

Ocean City has been a prime tourist destination ever since the Atlantic Hotel first opened its doors on July 4, 1875. The two and a half mile boardwalk offers amusement parks, shops, and typical boardwalk fare at the south end. The north end provides a lovely place to stroll past hotels and motels as you listen to the sound of the surf.

Ocean City has come a long way since the Atlantic Hotel opened. Now, folks visit all year around. The weather and water make for great beach days up into October, minus the summer crowds. And weekends are filled with special events and festivals. Winter offers brisk, refreshing salt air and is a great time for birdwatching. And in Spring, you can welcome the return of great weather while enjoying an upsurge in more festivals and events.

One of my favorite places for fun in Ocean City is Trimper’s Rides whose indoor vintage amusement part has provided fun for the whole family for 100 years. The capstone of Trimper’s is the1902 Hershell-Spellman Carousel with its beautifully restored, hand-painted menagerie. You can ride on a goat, giraffe, lion, rooster, horses or one of the artistically decorated chariots. The miniature Ferris Wheel and kiddie carousel date from the 1920’s.

Marty’s Playland is another place to visit. Play vintage ski-ball or drop a dime into one of the one hundred year old claw machines at Diggerville. Marty’s also includes contemporary arcade games.

The fishing is great in Ocean City, both onshore and offshore.

There are lots of cool things to do in Ocean City. Fly a kite, play miniature golf, build a sand castle, rent a kayak, or visit nearby Assateague National Seashore.

On Independence Day, Ocean City features two fabulous fireworks displays – one at the south end of the boardwalk, and the other at Northside Park on 127th Street.

Food venues run from funky outdoor picnic tables to fine dining; popular bars with live music, and several restaurants with bay views, where you can watch the sunset while you enjoy Maryland’s famous seafood.

Maryland Personal Injury Lawyers

Personal injury law, also known as "tort law," includes physical and emotional injuries caused by various reasons such as slips and falls, road accidents, use of defective products, defamation, medical malpractice and animal bites.

Sometimes the injuries can be minor or can be healed with time. Such victims do not have to go to court to receive compensation, and the party that caused the injuries offers compensation. However, some personal injuries may have grave consequences and affect a victim forever. If a personal injury has occurred in Maryland, it is advisable for the victim to hire a reputed lawyer. It is important to know the statute of limitations in Maryland to know the permitted time limit for filing a personal injury lawsuit.

Good personal injury lawyers can offer guidance to victims to decide the course of action. They protect the rights of their clients, and ensure that they receive the maximum compensation from the defenders and the insurance companies. Experienced personal injury lawyers have adequate expertise in dealing with insurance companies.

The procedure of personal injury lawsuits may vary according to the type of personal injury. Medical malpractice lawyers have a good understanding of medical terminology. They often consult medical experts to determine if the victims have valid grounds for filing a claim. According to personal injury law, individuals who are substantially exposed to hazardous waste can also file for compensation if they suffer from some sort of disorder or illness resulting from it.

As the personal injury lawssuits vary importantly, it is recommended to hire a lawyer who has represented similar types of personal injury cases. There are lawyers who are specialized in specific areas of personal injury law.

Lawyers and reputed law firms usually offer free preliminary consultation. They assess the cases of victims and advise them accordingly. All personal injury lawyers usually charge on a contingency fee basis.

Responding to Foreclosure – Maryland Offers Homeowners Legal Defenses to Delay Or Stop Foreclosure

With the rising tide of mortgage foreclosure actions, Maryland has implemented new legal protections for homeowners. The laws are intended to: (a) protect homeowners who have been fraudulently induced to enter into high-interest loans; and (b) provide homeowners with information about alternatives to foreclosure and the importance of filing an answer if they are served with a foreclosure complaint.

The most recent legal protections went into effect in April, 2008. Among other protections, the new laws: (a) mandate that lenders provide the homeowner with a written notice of intent to foreclose at least 45 days prior to filing a foreclosure action in court; (b) require that lenders wait until 90 days after a default in payment before commencing a foreclosure case; (c) require that the foreclosure court papers be personally served upon the borrower; (d) require lenders to publish a notice of sale in a newspaper at least three times before the foreclosure sale can take place; and (e) give homeowners the opportunity to pay overdue payments up until one day prior to the scheduled auction.

The goal is to ensure that homeowners are given increased time to explore alternatives to foreclosure. In responding to foreclosure complaints, homeowners should ascertain whether their lender complied with the new procedural requirements. Where the required notices were not properly served, a homeowner should specifically raise the lender’s noncompliance with the law as an affirmative defense in their answer to the foreclosure complaint. By asserting the newly available affirmative defenses, homeowners may be able to delay foreclosure and motivate lenders to provide non-foreclosure options, such as short sales and loan modification.

Previously, in 2005, the Maryland legislature passed legislation requiring lenders to provide specific notice to homeowners regarding their rights in foreclosure actions. This law took effect on May 26, 2005 and, among other things, requires that foreclosure notices contain specific warnings and information.

Like other states, Maryland experienced record numbers of foreclosures in 2009. Prince George’s County and Baltimore County have experienced the highest number of foreclosures overall. However, the increase in foreclosure rates has affected every part of the state. Statewide, foreclosure filings in August, 2009 were up by more than 70% as compared to August, 2008. These grim statistics reflect the increase in unemployment, large number of high-interest mortgages, and crumbling property values. Even the most desperate homeowners should file answers when served with foreclosure complaints. Homeowners who answer foreclosure complaints are generally able to slow the foreclosure process. In many instances, homeowners who have filed answers to foreclosure complaints have found that their lenders are more willing to consider various options, including loan modifications and short sales, that were not made available previously.

Foreclosure answer forms are available for download, and are relatively easy to complete and file with the court. A foreclosure answer need not be lengthy or complex. The principal purpose is to concisely deny those allegations in the complaint that are false, and to set forth any affirmative defenses which may be applicable. In foreclosure cases, answers often contain the following affirmative defenses: (a) the mortgage was entered into fraudulently or in violation of the Truth in Lending Act; (b) the lender failed to comply with applicable notice periods; and (c) the lender failed to personally serve the foreclosure summons and complaint. These are just some of the affirmative defenses to foreclosure that a homeowner should consider asserting in their answer form.