Frequently Asked Questions

Legal Hotline FAQ

A blog of the most frequently asked questions to the Maryland REALTORS Legal Hotline.

Cindy Sellers
Cindy Sellers
Cindy Sellers's Blog

Does a licensed real estate professional become a foreclosure consultant

Yes. At the outset, helping a past client who is currently in trouble with his mortgage to refinance or restructure the loan is beyond the scope of your real estate license and could subject you to disciplinary proceedings before the Real Estate Commission. The best practice would be to refer the past client to a reputable and competent counseling agency that has staff trained in working with folks who are in trouble with their mortgage.

If you do not refer these clients, please be aware that under PHiFA licensees will almost certainly become “foreclosure consultants” if they engage in this kind of activity. [§7-301(C)(1)] Once you have been defined as a foreclosure consultant, you take on a whole host of obligations and prohibitions to that homeowner in default, including:

Providing the homeowner with a foreclosure consultant agreement with the required disclosures. [§7-306]

Refraining from engaging in the prohibited activity listed under [§7-307].

Presenting a copy of your real estate license to the homeowner no later than when the foreclosure consulting contract is executed. [§7-308]

Providing the homeowner with written copies of any research done by the consultant regarding the value of the residence in default, including any information on sales of comparable properties or any appraisals. [§7-309(a)]

Providing to the homeowner in default the same duties that you would owe a client under §17-532 of the broker’s act. [§7-309(b)]

Give the homeowner the 5-day right of rescission on the contract of sale. [§7-310]

Making sure that the purchaser provides the required disclosure to the homeowner if you arranged for the sale or transfer of the residence in default as part of the foreclosure consulting contract. [§7-311]

Engaging in these types of activities is almost certainly beyond the scope of your real estate license, and carries increased risks. You should speak with your broker, and perhaps with legal counsel, before engaging in such activities.

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