Governor Moore:

Recently, you stated that “solving big problems can’t happen overnight” and Maryland is “leaving too much on the table.” Right now, at least 40,000 residents of Prince George’s County and Baltimore City are facing threats of foreclosure with more in the pipeline. While we applaud the Administration for taking risks to protect renters, we are concerned the State is doing too little, too late, and seeking instead to gaslight even more foreclosures by legalizing zombie mortgage actors.

The undersigned urge you to take immediate steps to protect homeownership in Maryland from predators who were recklessly ignored by your predecessor’s administration and its holdovers to protect Maryland residents now and into the future.

First, we encourage you to revamp the Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) to promote innovation focused on protecting the interests of consumers as a priority. It is critical that this agency not simply serve as a mouthpiece for the financial services industry. The OFR changed course under Governor Hogan in favor of no regulation and turned its back on Maryland homeowners. It was recently disclosed that the OFR knew one of its licensees was violating Maryland’s longstanding usury laws (usury has been called a “moral taint” which should not be allowed in any instance) but OFR took no action to stop the conduct for more than three years and only did so long after the fact in a secret settlement. Just last year the OFR also prefiled legislation in the General Assembly to exempt from disclosure to the public certain foreclosure data that identifies the number of threatened foreclosures across the state and the companies who are behind the actions. At the time this legislation was conceived by the OFR, the agency was facing claims for violating Maryland’s public information law by withholding the same information from a valid disclosure request. These examples (of many) show an independent consumer financial protection board is needed to meaningfully supervise the OFR and to protect homeowners from financial predators.

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Use your power to ensure vulnerable Maryland residents have a fair, reasonable opportunity to obtain relief to protect their rights and property. The reality is that foreclosures will be addressed in courts which need to give Maryland homeowners a fair shake. One (but not the only) way for you to accomplish this goal is to nominate and appoint judges who believe first in the appearance of fairness in all judicial proceedings which was not the practice of your predecessor. For example, a Hogan-appointed judge failed to disclose to a homeowner challenging the improper foreclosure of her home that the judge’s campaign committee owed opposing counsel thousands of dollars or that the judge’s campaign committee had also paid the same opposing counsel thousands more dollars. These omissions created the appearance of unfairness by a judge selected by Mr. Hogan against the rights of a Maryland homeowner in a courthouse which rubberstamps nearly every foreclosure no matter the facts and evidence presented. This should not be the standard in any Maryland court. You can reverse these trends course by appointing judges who treat Marylanders fairly.

Time is of the essence, and we strongly urge your Administration to chart a new path that promotes policies and practices that place the interests of Maryland homeowners first.


Marylanders for Transparent Government, Inc.

Tiavonde Jones, Ruth Contee, Deonmonthenia Goetz, Vernon N. Richardson, Adele Penny, Catherine Smith, Zalee Harris, Antoinette M. Williams, Jerry Williams, Michelle W. Quarles, Frederick and Sherri Gage, Ruth M. Wilcox, Dorothy Peterson, Anderson T. Bray, Sr., Kecia M. Munroe, J. Clarke, Paul Randall, Barbara S. Taha, Bentura Flores, Michelle B, Elizabeth Johnson, Kay F. Jackson, Rhonda Hill, Beth Jacobson, Natalie Tao, Eric Marsh, Vanessa Gilbert, Stacy Hartwell, Verdell Small, Jacqueline Goodall, Milly Hall, Roseanna Vogt

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