Legal Question in Real Estate Law in Maryland

Hi, This is a question for a mortgage or housing tax attorney.

To summarize 5 hours of phone calls to my mortgage company and the county tax office: my mortgage company placed "5 parcels" on my 1/16th of an acre of land (basically like i have 5 houses on my property) and i only have a small townhouse. They than paid 5 houses' yearly taxes from MY escrow account and placed it into the negative.. (at first they said my tax went from $2200 to $9700 a year which is impossible due to the Homestead Act in MD.. i confirmed with the county it is ONE parcel and my taxes are $1888 a year now). They are saying that i MUST pay $2090 by the 16th, when i am disputing it saying i am not responsible to pay for THEIR mistake. My mortgage is $1285 a month. If i dont pay the additional $$ for their mistake, than they said my house will be in default and my credit hit hard (i have never made a late mortgage payment and my credit is 800?+) I need to pay my mortgage by 9/13.. so i need to find out info asap. thank you for your help!! My county tax rep as well as my father and father in law (realator) have never ever heard of this happening before.

Asked on 9/12/13, 7:05 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Thomas Valkenet Young & Valkenet
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This is a new one for me, too, and I've been litigating real property and tax issues for over 20 years! Your remedy may be to sue your mortgage servicing company to 1) make them stop paying more tax than is necessary to the authorities; and 2) make them replace the money paid from your account by mistake. Negotiating by phone or e-mail with these entities is slow, frustrating, and often pointless. By forcing them to hire a lawyer, you get to someone with half a brain. You should, of course, continue to make your regular mortgage payments while disputing this issue.

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Answered on 9/12/13, 7:13 am
Cedulie Laumann Arden Law Firm, LLC
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The simplest solution may be simply to drop your escrow if possible. I have not seen this precise scenario, but I have seen a variety of mistakes with escrow accounts and mis-calculations of estimated taxes. Escrow can be helpful for homeowners who prefer to make a single payment and don't want to track insurance and taxes themselves. However, so long as a homeowner owes less than 80%, it is usually possible to waive escrows and simply have the homeowner pay their own taxes and insurance (this election is made by calling the loan servicer and telling them you no longer want escrow).

While the above is general legal information and not personal legal advice, I hope it helps.

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Answered on 9/12/13, 8:21 am

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