Welcome to the Civil Justice Blog

Welcome to the Civil Justice Blog.  The blog highlights current Maryland and/or federal law dealing with such topics as foreclosures, consumer rights, auto-fraud, and other related public interest issues.

Author: Civil Justice Created: Tuesday, January 25, 2011 RssIcon
Deficiency Judgments

Foreclosure Recovery: Helping Homeowners Get Back on Track

By Civil Justice on Monday, April 28, 2014
Recovery is a concept that evokes diverse emotions. Feelings of triumph or hopefulness may arise from resolving, or “getting to the other side of,” a life challenge. Nonetheless, recovery also implies survival from an unpleasant experience—potentially one we never wanted to endure. Recovery requires healing, renewal, and forward motion. In order to recover, one must acknowledge that life has changed: a potentially mournful realization that necessitates adaptation to current circumstances, as well as responsiveness to underlying scars. Just as with recovery in general, foreclosure recovery provides opportunities to re-engage life situations with new and wellness-enhancing orientations. The aftermath of a foreclosure event can result in varied legal and financial consequences, regardless of whether one has successfully obtained a permanent modification or lost the home. Issues such as depleted savings accounts and difficulties securing a rental property may appear as immediate challenges; whereas, consequences... Read More » Comments (0)

"Passive" Debt-Buyers: An Urban Legend

By Civil Justice on Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Maryland law requires debt-buyers who file debt collection lawsuits against consumers to be licensed as collection agencies with the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation.  Earlier this year, two elected officials introduced separate legislation in the Maryland General Assembly that proposed to create a definition within the licensing laws for certain debt-buyers known as “passive debt buyers.”  In response to this potentially negative legislation, Civil Justice joined the team of CJ Network Attorneys and consumer advocates that submitted written and oral testimony in opposition to these bills.  The consumer advocates prevailed in having both bills withdrawn.  Here are a few reasons why Civil Justice opposed these bills:   Active and Passive Debt-Buying is a False Distinction

According to the proposed legislation, a “passive debt buyer means a person who, for investment purposes, acquires a consumer claim in default at the time of acquisition.”  The distinction between “active” and “passive”... Read More » Comments (0)

Foreclosures and Deficiency Judgments

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, January 7, 2014

 How long can a mortgage company pursue a deficiency judgment resulting from a foreclosure?

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Director of CJ's CAPP Program, Rebecca Coleman, contributes to OSI's Audacious Ideas Blog

By Civil Justice on Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Rebecca Coleman, Director of the Credit Abuse Project (CAPP) and a 2010 Open Society Institute Baltimore County fellow has contributed to the Open Society Institute Audacious Ideas blog.  Her article, entitled "Make Creditors Prove They are Entitled to Collect a Debt" can be viewed here.  Audacious Ideas is a blog that was created to stimulate ideas and discussion about solutions to difficult problems in Baltimore.

CJ Member Peter Holland has published an article titled "The One Hundred Billion Dollar Problem in Small Claims Court: Robo Signing and Lack of Proof in Debt Buyer Cases".

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, July 5, 2011

 CJ Member Peter Holland has published an article titled “The One Hundred Billion Dollar Problem in Small Claims Court: Robo-Signing and Lack of Proof in Debt Buyer Cases.”

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Civil Justice Submits Comments to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency Regarding the Proposed Regulations to Implement the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, June 28, 2011
   On June 27, 2011, Civil Justice submitted to the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) its comments regarding the OCC’s proposed regulatory amendments in response to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  The Act was created to address serious problems with how consumers are protected from fraudulent or otherwise unethical behavior on the part of lenders, including mortgage companies.  Chief among these problems is the OCC’s 2004 regulation implementing the National Bank Act, which prevented a great number of state laws that protected consumers from abusive lending practices from being enforced against national banks.  This preemption of state law enabled national banks to engage in predatory and reckless lending practices and played a direct and significant role in causing the current financial crisis.      Unfortunately, the proposed regulations do not solve this problem, but rather amount to more of the same.  For example, while the Act specifically restricts the OCC’s... Read More » Comments (0)

"Hot Coffee" Premiers on HBO, June 27, 9pm

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, June 7, 2011

HBO will be airing an important documentary film about tort reform and its threat to the civil justice system called “Hot Coffee” on Monday, June 27, 2011 at 9pm.  The documentary follows four people, including the infamous McDonald’s Hot coffee lawsuit plaintiff Stella Liebeck, whose lives have been affected by their inability to access the courts, and how caps on damages hurt them.  The film also examines the role of corporations and a complicit media in promoting tort reform.  “Hot Coffee” was a selection of the 2011 Sundance Film Festival.  Watch a trailer of the documentary here, and for a review of the movie, click here.

Civil Justice Holds First Training for Creditor Abuse Prevention Project

By Civil Justice on Tuesday, May 31, 2011
On Friday, May 20, 2011, Civil Justice held the first attorney training in its new Creditor Abuse Prevention Project (CAPP). Over 30 attorneys attended the full-day training to learn more about bringing creditor abuse claims in Chapter 13 bankruptcy cases.  Attorneys were given the option of taking the training for free if they agreed to take pro bono cases as part of CAPP. The morning session of the training focused on three main areas of creditor abuse in bankruptcy. Laura Margulies, of Laura Margulies & Associates (http://www.law-margulies.com), explained the process for filing proofs of claim in bankruptcy and identified common problems that arise in the claims filed by creditors. She also presented sample objections based on common creditor abuses. Professor Peter Holland of the University of Maryland School of Law Consumer Protection Clinic (http://www.law.umaryland.edu), briefly discussed common debt collection violations... Read More » Comments (0)
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