MARYLAND (WJZ) — The Maryland Department of Labor’s Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulations on Monday announced an extension of the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through May 3, 2021.

The moratorium, set by Gov. Larry Hogan’s executive order issued on April 3, 2020 that had continued this last year, was due to expire on March 31, 2021.

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“While the state’s economy is improving and the unemployment rate is decreasing, many homeowners are still facing financial hardships through no fault of their own due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Labor Secretary Tiffany P. Robinson. “As a result, our department’s Office of Financial Regulation has further extended the moratorium on new residential foreclosures through the beginning of May. I strongly encourage homeowners to contact their mortgage lender before the moratorium ends to learn about the options and solutions that may be available to them.”

The statewide reporting system for new foreclosure notices will stay closed through the May date. While the reporting system is closed, lenders are prohibited from sending a “notice of intent to foreclose” to homeowners. This notice is the first step for initiating most residential foreclosures in Maryland.

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If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure or at risk of defaulting on their mortgage should contact the company where they send their monthly payments for help.

Homeowners can also call the Maryland HOPE hotline at 1-877-462-7555 for a referral to a nonprofit housing advocate. Additional information and resources about mortgage relief and foreclosure prevention can be found by visiting the department’s website.

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For the latest information on coronavirus go to the Maryland Health Department’s website or call 211. You can find all of WJZ’s coverage on coronavirus in Maryland here.

CBS Baltimore Staff