Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley said Tuesday that the state has adopted new emergency regulations requiring reports from mortgage loan servicers detailing their efforts to help homeowners facing default and foreclosure. Maryland is only the second state in the nation to require this data, following California. The emergency regulation requires servicers to provide the state's Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation with lists of homeowners who have adjustable rate mortgages that are about to reset to higher interest rates. DLLR will use this information to reach out to those homeowners, providing them with information on resources available to help them, the governor said. In a press statement, O'Malley said he had summoned loan servicing representatives to an emergency working session designed to "help find real solutions to the foreclosure crisis and protect middle class families from losing their home." "It is time to make the loan servicers part of the solution to protect our families,"said O'Malley. "Maryland has committed significant resources to help Maryland families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, and we are prepared to work with loan servicers to develop a framework and a model for large-scale relief for homeowners that will keep people in their homes." Ocwen under investigation He said the state has also opened an investigation into the servicing practices of Ocwen Financial, one of the largest servicers of Maryland loans, and may look to revoke the company's operating license in the state depending on the outcome of a review of individual loan files. "Everyone in the mortgage industry has said they want to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. We want to ensure their actions are matching their words," Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation Secretary Thomas Perez said. "This data collection will shine a bright light on servicers, and will help DLLR help homeowners." The Washington Post, reporting on this story, said that both O'Malley and Perez have accused the industry of being unresponsive to borrowers seeking help:
O'Malley and Perez accused the industry of failing to respond to homeowners trying to renegotiate their mortgages, citing complaints from residents who said they placed calls only to find busy signals, long waits on hold and a lack of assistance. "We need the loan servicers to join with us, and not from Topeka, Kansas, from some 1-800 number, but here in Maryland so that we can reach out and do a better job," O'Malley said.