Although foreclosure rates around the country are decreasing, there has been a significant spike in the rate of foreclosures being filed in Maryland. After speaking with Baltimore City's Foreclosure Auditor, James Wiggins, since December 26, 2013, an approximate 4,000 foreclosure cases have been filed in the Baltimore City jurisdiction alone - that accounts for more cases filed in Baltimore City than were filed for all of 2013! Wiggins expects that, at a minimum, an additional 5,000 foreclosure cases will be filed in Baltimore City this coming year in 2014. Although the numbers seem high, when taken into consideration that there has been an almost negligible foreclosure caseload in the city over the past several years, the uptick in filings doesn't surprise anyone who has been monitoring this situation.
In the wake of the "Robo-Signing" scandal that rocked the nation and also hit close to home, affecting lawyers at several well-known foreclosure law firms in Maryland, the fear that documents being filed in foreclosure cases are not 100% pristine has forced lenders and their lawyers to be more cautious with what is being filed and had significantly slowed the foreclosure filing numbers. Since Maryland enacted its tougher, document and notice intensive foreclosure process, the foreclosure filings over the past several years in many parts of Maryland had come to an abrupt halt. Bank attorneys blame the halt on an uneasiness with what exactly Maryland law demands. As such, a "touch and go" philosophy has arisen, whereby bank attorneys have become more judicial and have provided more scrutiny to the documents that they are filing in these foreclosure cases.