Gov. Larry Hogan announced substantial economic relief on Friday for residents hurt financially by the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An executive order from the governor temporarily prohibits mortgage lenders from initiating the foreclosure process. Nearly 70 of the state’s banks and financial institutions have agreed to a program to provide a 90-day forbearance and deferral period on mortgages, he said.

During this period, no late fees will be charged, and there will be no negative reporting to credit bureaus. Residents must contact their lender to take advantage of this relief.

“To avoid the serious health, welfare, and safety consequences that may result if Marylanders lose their housing as a result of COVID-19, it is necessary and reasonable to impose a moratorium on certain evictions and prevent the initiation of residential foreclosures,” Hogan’s executive order reads in part.

The order expands to include industrial and commercial evictions and also prohibits the repossession of cars, trucks and mobile homes, Hogan said during Friday’s news briefing.

Hogan’s office is also directing the Maryland commissioner of financial regulation to suspend certain lending limits for Maryland banks in some cases in an effort to make more credit available to struggling small businesses.

In addition, during this state of emergency, all executive state agencies will suspend debt collection activities.

“We’re going to continue to do everything that we possibly can to help get Marylanders through this,” Hogan said.

He announced and signed an executive order last month that also protects renters from eviction, if they can demonstrate they’ve lost income due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Hogan also announced three vehicle emission testing facilities were opened Monday as coronavirus drive-through testing and screening locations, at Glen Burnie, Waldorf and Bel Air.

Two additional testing sites should be opening soon in Columbia and White Oak, Hogan added.

The governor also asked that at noon on Sunday Marylanders statewide gather for a moment of silence for those who have died, who are sick and those on the frontlines of the pandemic.

Hogan and other state officials said it’s still uncertain when coronavirus cases will peak in the state.

“I wish I could tell you when we’re going to turn the corner, when you’ll be able to go back to work, to school or to church, or when any of us will be able to get back to living a normal life again,” Hogan said during Friday’s briefing. “Unfortunately, I’m not able to do that. We simply don’t know just how bad things are going to get, or exactly how long this is going to last.”

Follow Allen Etzler on Twitter:

@AllenWEtzler.

Steve Bohnel is the county government reporter for the Frederick News-Post. He can be reached at sbohnel@newspost.com. He graduated from Temple University, with a journalism degree in May 2017, and is a die-hard Everton F.C. fan.

(12) comments

Safe Maryland

MD should feel very blessed to have an eye-catching proactive, diligent, and on-site

governor. Most other state leaders are lazy and too timid to step on political and rich business toes. Stress, distress and great fear. Good folks going to work is an ordeal for them. Messaging dissonance, stupidity, and people misbehaving amplifies the macabre pandemic.

Why do individuals do this? Because of spiritual coronavirus called sin. It’s been epidemic since the first man and woman Adam & Eve disobeyed God.

What we need is to have the sin irradiated. No amount of scrubbing with good works and “going to church” (we can’t do that anymore) will save you from spiritual death-- eternity without God and Jesus. Rather to be thrown into lake of eternal fire!

You need to come to the Great Physician Jesus who took all your virus of wickedness on the cross which killed Him though He was absolutely 100% UNINFECTED. God judged Him in your place so that if:

- You honestly agree with God that you have the spiritual COVID-19 called sin

- Believe that pure Jesus provided the ANTIDOTE for the outbreak when He conquered sin by being unjustly punished and suffered wrongful death on the cross for everyone, John 3:16

- REPENT which means to be willing to self-quarantine yourself from doing sin not just for 14 days but for the rest of your life, with the powerful help of Jesus.

- Then ask God to forgive you through His Son’s ultimate sacrifice on the cross for your REAL (not virtual) guilt of crimes against God and humanity

then He will honor a humble, genuine, and contritious prayer. Jesus will come into you and give you eternal life!

The Grape of Wrath

People better get the details before they just stop paying rent and mortgages. This no doubt comes with difficult-to-navigate limits and conditions with backup paperwork and certificates required. I am afraid many will read this and just stop paying. Businesses are in better shape. They have billions and billions in socialist pre-foregiven loans they can tap; students with college debt not so lucky; working people only $1200.

The Grape of Wrath

In Iowa, a Republican state, sex toy shops are allowed to stay open under the 'essential business' doctrine. You can't get a safe and legal abortion, but you can get tinker toys. Another example of Republican logic.

Russian

There are many Epstein’s and Trump’s in the GOP

fisherkid89

Lol. Maryland a Democrat state liquor stores are still open because they are essentially

Quisling

Lets be glad they are open, even more people would be out of work and the isolation would be all the more dreary. The more business open the better.

AmazonAddict

So move to Iowa and complain. What does this have to do with Maryland or Governor Hogan?

steelersfan2005

DO NOT DO A forbearance, you will owe 4 months all at once.

Russian

You got that right!

Piedmontgardener

All the right moves. Wish he could primary Trump.

F. McMannus

What incentives do national or even international lenders have to comply with this order? Is a penalty spelled-out somewhere? And the article says the customer has to call their lender to make arrangements under the Maryland order. A lender justifiably would need something official from Maryland other than the word of a customer over the phone.

HappySeller2014

Probably not need anything official.

If mortgage lien for a property within MD state lines, and you are struggling, you will qualify. Mortgage holders not going to be a pain. Last thing motgage owners and brokers want is for homes to go to foreclosure...huge expense for them.

You may have to fill out some financial paperwork, and a new agreement to catch back up at a later date, whether at the end of the forebearance or the end of the loan term. That is it.

Banks do the all the time. Federal employee furloughs due to long federal government shutdowns comes to mind. Mortgage holders will work with you. Actually, word of a customer over the phone will often cut it, especially if you have a track record with the mortgage company and been paying off a mortgage for years...

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