Emanwel Turnbull, a trial attorney at
The Holland Law Firm
is on the Board of Directors of the Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition (MCRC). Here are highlights of some of MCRC’s legislative efforts in 2019:
STOPPING FOR-PROFIT SCHOOLS FROM PRETENDING TO BE NONPROFIT
Maryland is the first state in the nation to pass legislation preventing for-profit schools changing to nonprofits status. The regulation has brought more transparency to schools that are trying to take advantage of students with predatory loan practices. At least now the student will be aware of the for-profit status and make a more informed decision about attending the school.
STUDENT LOAN SERVICING
Have you been misled by a loan servicer when it comes to payment options for your loan or you have lost the battle when you tried to have your loan payment applied correctly when there was a mistake? This predatory practice has caused millions in late fees to be added to the already burgeoning student debt crisis. The new law will not allow a loan service company to “knowingly, recklessly or (even) refuse to correct a misapplication of a student loan borrower.”
The new law will also, and this is huge, “r
equire a student loan servicer to
receipt of a written inquiry or complaint from a certain borrower within
” Welcome support to students who need help making sure they can be heard when there are issues with the payment process for their student loan.
TAX SALES IN BALTIMORE CITY
Newly passed legislation has done away with a tax sale due to an unpaid water bill in Baltimore City. Previously in Baltimore City, a house could be foreclosed on due to an unpaid water bill. Reports of inaccurate billing compounds the issue in Baltimore City. The new bill removes water bills as part of the tax sale process so homeowners don’t lose this priceless asset.
MORTGAGE FORGIVENESS DEBT RELIEF TAX IS PERMANENT
After the mortgage meltdown in 2008, the federal government initiated a program to help consumers not pay income tax on negative equity in their homes from a foreclosure sale. Maryland had a similar law enacted that had sunset in 2018. Now it will be permanent.