Thursday, November 22, 2012



Learn more about the Homestead Tax Credit program at

1.  What is the law that requires homeowners to apply for the Homestead Tax Credit?  
Legislation enacted by the 2007 session of the General Assembly requires homeowners to submit a one-time application in order to continue their eligibility for the homestead tax credit.  The homestead credit limits the amount of assessment increase on which a homeowner will pay property taxes in that tax year on the one property actually used as the owner’s principal residence.  
See Section 9-105 Tax-Property Article of the Maryland Annotated Code.

2.  Why is the Homestead Eligibility Application needed?
The reason why the application process was needed is because some property owners were improperly receiving the credit on vacation homes and rented properties.  County and municipal governments were losing tax revenues needed to provide important services to their residents. 

 3.  Why should I want to submit the application?
Because of assessment increases and because of the low assessment caps adopted by the county governments, many homeowners in the State have been receiving substantial homestead credits each year on their property tax bills. View a listing of homestead caps for each local government

 4. Were property owners notified about the Homestead application requirements? 
The Department of Assessments and Taxation included the application in the Assessment Notices mailed to property owners during the regular reassessment cycle from December 2007 through December 2011. New purchasers of properties will be mailed a homestead application by the Department.5.  How do I file the Homestead Eligibility Application? 
a.  File electronically: Request an application from the Department by sending an email to
The application mailed out to you will contain an Access Number so you may file electronically on our site at   Mail the application: You may mail in the completed paper application the Department sends you. You may also print and mail the completed PDF copy of the application available on our web site.  Applications must be postmarked by December 31, 2012.

c.  Fax the application: You may also fax in the completed paper application to the Department at 410-225-9344. 

          Emailed applications will not be accepted.
Mail completed application to:
Department of Assessments and Taxation
Homestead Tax Credit Division
301 West Preston Street, 8th Floor
Baltimore MD 21201 
Contact the Homestead Division
Telephone: 410-767-2165
Fax: 410-225-9344
Request an

 You can find out if you have already filed an application by looking up your property in our Real Property database
 6.  What is the Department of Assessments and Taxation doing to insure the confidentiality of my Social Security number that I am required to provide on the homestead tax credit application form?
The Department has a 30-year history of receiving and absolutely protecting confidential Social Security numbers and income tax return information received from hundreds of thousands of homeowners applying for the Homeowners’ Tax Credit Program based on income.  These same protections and additional protections will be provided to protect the confidentiality of Social Security numbers supplied on homestead tax credit applications.  For those homeowners who submit applications electronically, the Department’s website is an “encrypted” protected site that uses the unique 8-digit security "Access Number” and scrambles the individual Social Security numbers.  For those homeowners who submit a paper application, there is a series of administrative procedures and protections under federal law that the Department follows in accordance with the strict non-disclosure and safeguard activities required of the agency because of our receipt of federal income tax information.

Revised: November 2012

Monday, October 1, 2012

Don't Wait Until It's Too Late #Foreclosures

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Baltimore - The Maryland Housing Counseling Network, Inc. has a consumer-friendly chart of the state's foreclosure process, outlining in a clear, easy-to-follow format what homeowners who are behind in their mortgage can expect from lenders and matching each step in that process with what homeowners can do to get help.
The chart helps illustrate the importance of seeking counseling through the state's MD HOPE Counseling Network as early in the process as possible; and of opting-in for foreclosure mediation through the Office of Administrative Hearings. Here's how.

Maryland was one of the first states to give homeowners that option, in the hopes of encouraging lenders to work with families to find sustainable alternatives to foreclosure.

However, it should be noted that the chart does not include early mediation, the newest step in the foreclosure process. Early mediation, which goes into effect Oct. 1, gives homeowners in financial trouble the option to seek mediation before lenders take them to court. The goal is to bring the parties to the negotiating table even earlier in the process, when more options may be available.

Early mediation was one of three key measures recommended by Governor O'Malley's foreclosure task force and passed this year by the legislature by wide bipartisan margin. The legislature also established a statewide foreclosed property database and a tax credit for families that buy a foreclosed property as their principal home.

Taken together, the measures reflect the Maryland Foreclosure Task Force's dual strategy for coping with what it called the "harsh reality" that the crisis will continue for some time - the new measures give beleaguered homeowners additional time to find alternatives to foreclosure and they give state and local governments new tools to help neighborhoods rebound from the blight of vacant and foreclosed properties.

The measures also build upon the sweeping reforms enacted under Governor O'Malley's leadership since 2007 in response to the most severe national housing crisis since the Great Depression. Maryland foreclosures peaked during the fourth quarter of 2009 and have been declining ever since. But foreclosures have inched up in recent months as lenders adjust to regulatory reform and the state's housing market gets stronger.

Subscribe to Community Review, the official blog of the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development,to get the latest in housing and community development news. 
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Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development | Maryland Department of Housing | 100 Community Place |Crownsville | MD | 21032

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Home Buyer Grant Program Class

HIP’s Homebuyer University
 Interested in buying a home?
Now is the time to get your degree from HIP Services’ Free Homebuyer University

This 8-hour homebuyer workshop will arm you with the knowledge and confidence to jump into the real estate market and make the right choices for you.
Workshop topics will include:
·         Getting your financial ducks in a row
·         How much house can I afford? (And do I want as much house as I can afford?)
·         Will the bank say YES?
·         Don’t lose your shirt – how to avoid predatory lenders
·         How do I buy a foreclosed property and do I want one?
·         Where to find free down payment money
·         The daunting closing documents and procedures
·         I got my dream house – now what??
·         Am I in to stay?  How to avoid foreclosure

Location and Time:
Hyattsville Municipal Building
Multi-purpose Room
4310 Gallatin Street
Hyattsville, MD 20781
Saturday September22, 2012
9am to 5pm

**Pizza will be served for lunch**

MATERIALS:       You will receive a valuable workbook filled with information, examples and resources for buyers.

DEGREE AWARDED:  Upon completing the 8-hour class, you will receive a “Certificate of Completion” which is a prerequisite to applying for many downpayment/closing cost assistance programs, including the Prince George’s County Myhome program.

REGISTER:  You must register for the workshop to attend - Please call or email Lee Oliver at 301-699-8031,

Monday, August 27, 2012

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Independent Foreclosure Review Fact Sheet

Independent Foreclosure Reviews 
Fact Sheet 

What is happening? 
Fourteen U.S. mortgage servicers and their affiliates are making available free, 
impartial Independent Foreclosure Reviews to certain of their borrowers as 
part of the consent orders entered into with the Board of Governors of the 
Federal Reserve System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in 
April 2011. 

If eligible borrowers believe that they were financially injured as a result of 
servicer errors, misrepresentations or other deficiencies in the foreclosure 
process on their primary residence, they can request a review of their 
foreclosure file to verify that their foreclosure process was handled properly. 

Throughout this process, servicers will continue their efforts to help 
homeowners who have not yet gone through a foreclosure sale stay in their 
homes, where possible.  

Who is eligible? 
Borrowers are eligible to submit a Request for Review if 1) their loan was 
serviced by one of the participating mortgage servicers, 2) their loan was active 
in the foreclosure process between Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010, and 3) the 
property securing the loan was their primary residence.  

To participate in an official review, eligible borrowers must submit a completed 
Request for Review Form by April 30, 2012. 

Which servicers are being required to perform the reviews? 
The participating servicers are: 

  •  America’s Servicing Company 
  •  Aurora Loan Services 
  •  BAC Home Loans Servicing 
  •  Bank of America 
  •  Countrywide 
  •  EMC 
  •  EverBank/Everhome Mortgage Company 
  •  GMAC Mortgage 
  •  HFC 
  •  National City Mortgage 
  •  PNC Mortgage 
  •  Sovereign Bank 
  •  SunTrust Mortgage 
  •  U.S. Bank 
  •  Beneficial 
  •  Chase 
  •  Citibank 
  •  HSBC 
  •  IndyMac Mortgage Services 
  •  Wachovia 
  •  Washington Mutual (WaMu) 
  •  CitiFinancial 
  •  MetLife Bank 
  •  Wells Fargo 
  •  CitiMortgage  
  •  Wilshire Credit Corporation 

How can borrowers find out if they are eligible for a review? 
An estimated 4.5 million borrowers will be notified by a letter explaining the 
review process and a Request for Review Form. The mailings will be 
staggered—to better manage volumes—in stages beginning Nov. 1, 2011. 

Information also may be found at  
Borrowers who believe they may be eligible for a review who do not receive a 
mailing can call 1.888.952.9105 Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. 
ET and Saturday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. ET to determine if they are eligible. 

What does it mean that a borrower was active in the foreclosure process? 
Foreclosure actions include any of the following occurrences on a primary 
residence between the dates of Jan. 1, 2009 and Dec. 31, 2010: 

 The property was sold due to a foreclosure judgment. 
 The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process but was 
removed from the process because payments were brought up-to-date or 
the borrower entered a payment plan or modification program. 
 The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process, but the 
home was sold or the borrower participated in a short sale or chose a 
deed-in-lieu or other program to avoid foreclosure.  
 The mortgage loan was referred into the foreclosure process and remains 
delinquent but the foreclosure sale has not yet taken place. 

What information will borrowers need to provide? 
Borrowers will be asked to provide information on the property, the borrower 
and any co-borrowers, and details about how they believe they may have been 
financially injured. There is no charge to eligible borrowers for a review, which 
will not be reported to any of the credit bureaus and will not impact any other 
options a borrower may pursue related to their foreclosure. 

What constitutes “financial injury?” 
Listed below are examples of situations that may have led to financial injury. 
This list does not include all situations. 

 The mortgage balance amount at the time of the foreclosure action was 
more than you actually owed. 
 You were doing everything the modification agreement required, but the 
foreclosure sale still happened. 
 The foreclosure action occurred while you were protected by bankruptcy. 
 You requested assistance/modification, submitted complete documents 
on time, and were waiting for a decision when the foreclosure sale 
 Fees charged or mortgage payments were inaccurately calculated, 
processed, or applied. 
 The foreclosure action occurred on a mortgage that was obtained before 
active duty military service began and while on active duty, or within 9 
months after the active duty ended and the servicemember did not waive 
his/her rights under the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act. 

How long will the foreclosure review take to complete? 
The borrower will be sent an acknowledgement letter from the Independent 
Review Administrator within one week after the request is received.  Because 
the review process will be a thorough and complete examination of many 
details and documents, a review could take up to several months. 

Who will be conducting the reviews? 
Foreclosure Reviews will be conducted by independent consultants engaged by 
the servicers and approved by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve 
System and the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  In order to ensure 
that the request for review process is as consistent as possible for eligible 
customers, all of the participating servicers are using the same outside 
administrator to manage the handling of incoming complaints for the Request 
for Review process.  

Once the Request for Review Forms have been collected by this single vendor, 
the servicer will provide relevant documents to the independent consultant. 
The servicer will also provide any findings and recommendations related to the 
borrower’s request for review to the independent consultant for examination.  
Servicers may be asked to clarify or confirm facts and disclose reasons for 
events that occurred related to the foreclosure process, and customers could 
be asked to provide additional information or documentation. 

Independent Foreclosure Review for Distressed Homeowners

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Your Realtors (R) Do For You

Realtor Action Alert
Dear Angel,

You did it! Late last week Congress finally acted on one of our key legislative priorities, a 5-year reauthorization of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The pundits said nothing would be accomplished in an election year. But you proved them wrong because you didn’t give up, and you have the victory to confirm it!
The 5-year reauthorization will bring certainty to real estate transactions in more than 21,000 communities nationwide where flood insurance is required for a mortgage. The bill ensures the program will continue long-term for more than 5.6 million business- and home owners who rely on it.
This has been a long, arduous battle. The NFIP suffered through 25+ short-term extensions; hobbling along for more than seven years without a long-term reauthorization. Because of your resolve, NAR's management and leadership, and most importantly you, stayed the course to give lenders and homeowners more certainty in the mortgage and real estate market place with available flood insurance for existing homeowners and those buying and selling.
I am sending you this email to reinforce the commitment NAR made to you. As one of our key activists, and every other member, you expect us to persevere on issues of importance to consumers, homeowners, and future homeowners. It was your charge to us not to give up, not to accept anything less than a long-term reauthorization of NFIP. We battled to get every short-term extension until the full 5-year reauthorization was approved.

I am proud of you. New battles surely lay ahead and there will few easy victories. 

Now more than ever, it is our responsibility to be steadfast protectors of the American Dream of homeownership. 
If not us, who? If not now, when? So, when we call on you like we did to rally, when we call on you like we do to respond to the calls for action, and when we ask for you to invest in RPAC, please, continue to show your commitment.  This latest legislative victory shows what the REALTOR® Party can accomplish when we choose not to give up or give in.

Have a great Fourth of July weekend everyone! Rally on REALTOR® Party!

Moe Veissi
Moe Veissi Signature
Moe Veissi, 2012 NAR President
REALTORS® are the Heart of the Deal!
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Monday, June 25, 2012

Everyone Has Questions About HAFA and HAMP

 View All Programs

Last Updated: 6/15/2012 3:03 PM

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Buy Suitland Program Workshop in July

Date:               Saturday, July 28, 2012

Time:               11:00 am to 12:30 pm

LOCATION:            Centro D Apoyo Familiar (CAF)
6801 Kenilworth Ave Suite 201
Riverdale MD 20737
Facilitator:  James Adamson, 1st Mariner Bank

rsvp required:

There is no fee for the class.  Attendees will receive your certificate of completion at the end of the workshop.

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Yetta Stokes
Sr. Processor
Prince George's County Department of Housing & Community Development

Wednesday, June 13, 2012


My HOME and Buy Suitland
Homebuyer Assistance Programs

When:         Saturday, June 16, 2012

Time:          11:00 am – 12:30 pm

Location:    Keller Williams Realty
9701 Apollo Drive
Upper Marlboro, Maryland 20774

Buyers will learn about the My HOME and Buy Suitland programs.  They will also learn about the 203K loan program.

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Yetta Stokes
Sr. Processor
Prince George's County Department of Housing & Community Development
301-883-7409 ofc.
301-883-5291 fax

Monday, May 7, 2012

Fight to STOP the County's 20% Recordation Tax INCREASE!

President's Letter

County Budget; Hard on Real Estate

Join us this Monday at 7 pm
Fight to STOP the County's 20% Recordation Tax INCREASE!

Please make every attempt to attend the Prince George's County Council Budget Hearing.
By showing up in force, we send the message that PGCAR Members care about
home ownership and will stand together to oppose this increase!

Prince George's County
Fiscal Year 2013
Budget Hearing

Monday, May 7 at 7 pm
County Administration Building
1st Floor Hearing Room
14741 Governor Oden Bowie Drive
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

Contact County Executive
Rushern Baker and
Your County Council

Recently, County Executive Rushern Baker released his budget proposal for fiscal year 2013. We applaud Mr. Baker's commitment to education and public safety; however, as a representative of the trade association representing over 2,500 Prince George's County real estate professionals - and the only voice for the homeowners they serve - we, as REALTORS®, have grave concerns about this budget's negative effect on housing.

The FY 2013 County Budget proposes a 20% increase in the County property transfer recordation fee, raising it $1.00 per $1,000 in home sale price. That's an additional $300 in closing costs on a $300,000 home purchase.

Upfront buyer closing costs - including recordation fees, transfer taxes, property taxes, down payments and lender fees - are the largest impediment to homeownership. Much to our dismay, Prince George's leads the Maryland DC Metro area in closing costs. In a statewide comparison, Prince George's ranks 3rd in closing cost expense; higher than 21 other Maryland Counties. Additionally, at 1.4% of the closing price, Prince George's ranks 1st in the Maryland DC Metro area in transfer tax burden.

For another "first," Prince George's leads the Maryland DC Metro area in property taxes; besting our neighboring jurisdictions Montgomery County and Calvert County by approximately 30% and 32%, respectively. Another disheartening point is that our citizen homeowners disproportionately fund this budget through real estate taxes that provide over 70% of County tax revenue.

Alease Bowles
2012 PGCAR President
Homebuyers are already struggling to get the necessary capital together to buy homes. This increase lessens their ability to purchase. For sellers, it lessens the pool of ready, willing and able buyers seeking to enter the marketplace.

Unfortunately, the County is experiencing a very challenging housing market. Prince George's single family property settlements are down 4.1% compared to March 2011; condominium settlements are down 5.7% compared to March 2011. Property values are at extreme lows compared to prior years, and foreclosures and short sales dominate the market. Real estate traditionally leads the economy out of recession and we are poised to do that again as our market stabilizes. Increasing housing costs, however, is counterproductive to rebuilding our local economy and a barrier to stabilizing our local real estate market.

We urge County Executive Baker to rethink this unwise proposal. We call on all County residents to contact your elected Council member to express your concerns on this matter.


Alease Bowles
President, Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®, Inc.

PGCAR leadership, over 160 members, and our PGCAR and MAR Government Affairs Directors have already either met with, emailed and/or called our Council members, urging them to oppose this increase in Prince George's County recordation fee. 

Please get involved. Attend the Budget Hearing this Monday, May 7
and CLICK HERE  to email your County Executive and Council Members today!

 Prince George's County Association of REALTORS®
9200 Basil Court  :  Suite 400 : Largo MD 20774
Phone 301-306-7900  :  Fax 301-306-8273  :  :  ©2012 PGCAR

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

You Asked My About Free Money Right?

Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance
My HOME Program
Now open - The My HOME program offers $$$ incentives to buy a home in
Prince George's County. Up to 5% of home sale price to qualified homebuyers
who have not owned a home within last 3 years.
Through HUD's HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME) the County has acquired over $1 million to use toward Down Payment and Closing Cost Assistance loans. The County's Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) oversees the My HOME program, which has been accepting applications and granting assistance to Prince George's County homebuyers since March 7, 2011.
My HOME Details:
  • The purchase property DOES NOT HAVE TO BE A FORECLOSED PROPERTY. The MY HOME program is open to all residential sale properties in Prince George's County up to $362,790. . . including short sales (single family, townhome, condominium, new construction included. The buyer must occupy.)
  • Down Payment Assistance (DPA) is NOT restricted to specific zip codes. Under My HOME all areas of Prince George's are eligible.
  • Applicant must be a first time home buyer, defined as "not owning a home within last three years."
  • The amount of down payment assistance (DPA) is 5% of the property sale price.
  • Buyer must contribute 1.75% of sale price toward transaction or 50% of liquid assets over $3,000 which ever is greater.
  • The maximum household income limits for eligibility were increased on October 16, 2011.Income Limits Chart >
  • Calculate your annual household income using this sample chart.
  • Buyer must qualify for the first mortgage through a Participating Lender approved by DHCD.
  • The lender will accept and complete the DPA loan applications and underwrite and qualify the first mortgage and pre-qualify the DPA loan simultaneously.
  • DHCD will require a specific DPA application, a special contract addendum, and seller/borrower affidavits.
  • Prospective purchase property will be subject to special inspections performed by a DHCD qualified inspector (at no cost to buyer). Request the required free inspection using this form.
  • Click here for the facts about some common myths heard about the special inspections requirements.
  • A Streamline 203K is acceptable, limited to repairs up to $35,000.
    Click here for the 203K Loan Addendum Form >
  • The DPA will be in the form of a deferred payment loan secured on the property as a second trust. Repayment is required if ownership is less than 10 years.
  • Applicants must attend 8 hours of HUD approved financial counseling classes.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Free Grant Money for First Time Home Buyers - Buy in Suitland

Buy Suitland

County Executive, Rushern L. Baker, IIIBuy within walking distance of the Metro, walk to work at the Suitland Federal Center, be a part of the revitalization of Suitland. The Buy Suitland Program offers an exciting opportunity to purchase a home in the Suitland Neighborhood Stabilization target area, anchored by the Suitland metro station, the Suitland Federal Center, and the planned mixed-use Suitland Manor Redevelopment Project. Through the Buy Suitland Program, income eligible, credit worthy, first time home buyers can receive up to $40,000 in down payment and closing costs assistance, to purchase a foreclosure or short sale property. Take advantage of this great program, become a homeowner and be a part of the Suitland renaissance!
This website outlines specific guidelines for the homebuyer, realtors and lenders. It also provides a self-assessment test to determine if you are ready to apply to the Buy Suitland Program.

Use this link to ensure your property is located in one of the eligible census tracks: