General Assembly Passes Bill to Assist Homeowners In Tax Sale

The Maryland General Assembly this week passed HB 852 Property – Tax Sales – Homeowner Protection Program, legislation that contemplates a novel approach to divert homeowners from the private tax lien process into an alternative program to minimize tax collection costs, assist with the payment of overdue taxes, and allow homeowners to remain in their homes.

The bill, sponsored by House Ways and Means Committee Chair, Delegate Anne Kaiser, establishes the Homeowner Protection Program, which offers vulnerable homeowners payment assistance, foreclosure mediation, and other services. Counties strongly prefer that homeowners receive all counseling, education, information, and support which may be available to them, and additional assistance when appropriate, to help them pay on time and avoid going through tax sale. As such, MACo supported the bill as a wise approach to facilitating access to support services at the time when it is most helpful.

From the MACo Testimony:

Counties have a vested interest in maintaining their most effective collection tool, which provides certainty for local budgets, protects funding for essential services, and establishes a level playing field for property owners. As such, MACo appreciates that this bill balances the interests of property owners, investors, and local governments.

Follow MACo’s advocacy during the 2021 legislative session on MACo’s Legislative Tracking Database.