On March 18, the Court of Appeals of Maryland has stayed all residential foreclosures and evictions during the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) pandemic. The Court determined that the “[e]scalation of the emergency has required comprehensive measures to protect the health, safety, and well-being of Maryland residents and judiciary personnel.” The Court further ruled that all “[f]oreclosures of residential property, foreclosures of the right to redeem residential property sold in a tax sale, and residential evictions present the strong likelihood of creating undue hardship if completed during the pendency of the emergency.”

As a result, the Court stayed all foreclosures of residential properties and foreclosures of the rights of redemption of residential properties pending in circuit courts, effective immediately. All residential eviction matters also are stayed. Any new foreclosure of residential property, foreclosure of rights of redemption after a tax sale, and residential evictions are stayed upon filing.

The Court of Appeals of Maryland is following the lead of the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which announced that they would suspend foreclosures and evictions for Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Federal Housing Administration mortgages for at least the next 60 days amid the COVID-19 pandemic. A few weeks ago, the FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac would provide payment forbearance to borrowers impacted by COVID-19, which will allow mortgage payments to be suspended for up to 12 months as a result of difficulties brought about by COVID-19.