Maryland judge: Time to protect the homeowner?

The judges on Maryland’s highest court might very well strike a blow against subprime predatory lending if their comments Tuesday give any indication of how they’re going to rule on single mother Joyce Griffin’s foreclosure case. Public Citizen attorney Deepak Gupta argued Griffin never had proper notice that the bank was selling her home.

Griffin says she first learned her house had been sold at auction when the new owner tacked a note on her front door. There are civil disputes where the stakes are much less that require much greater notification and follow-up, Gupta told the judges on Maryland’s Court of Appeals.

The foreclosure laws were put in place to protect lenders and allow them to move quickly to protect their investments. But in Tricia Bishop’s article in the Baltimore Sun, Judge Dale R. Cathell said it might be time to reassess who needs protection.

“We have a different situation, a different environment now than we did 50 years ago. … It seems to me, there should be perhaps some way to slow down the very swift practice of foreclosure,” Cathell said.

The brief and case documents can be found on the Public Citizen site.