What is an Order to Docket?

An Order to Docket is a legal requirement for lenders to comply with in Maryland prior to the start of foreclosure proceedings. Foreclosure is the result of the failure of the lendee to pay the loan to the lender upon due date.

Since Maryland follows the lien theory, property acts as the security for a loan which then places a lien called a “mortgage” upon a property. Should the lendee default on the loan, the lender can foreclose on the mortgage to satisfy the loan given to the lendee.  In the State of Maryland, three (3) remedies are available to the lender in terms of foreclosing on a mortgage or deed of trust in default. These are the (i) judicial foreclosure, (ii) the assent to decree, and (iii) the non-judicial foreclosure process.  The Order to Docket is only a requirement for the non-judicial foreclosure process.

 The non-judicial foreclosure process is applicable to mortgages or deeds of trust with a power of sale clause. This clause is basically an authority of the lendee allowing the lender to sell the mortgaged property to pay off the balance of the loan upon its default. This is typically exercised by the lender or a representative. However, despite this authority given to the lender by virtue of the power of sale clause, lenders in Maryland must file an Order to Docket first before foreclosure proceedings are commenced.

Despite this, an Order to Docket does not automatically mean that subsequent foreclosure proceedings will begin. An Order to Docket is just part of the foreclosure process which begins upon a missed payment of a mortgage, followed by a mailed Notice of Intent to Foreclose, which is subsequently followed by the Order to Docket. What comes after is the lendee’s request for foreclosure mediation, the period to request varies depending on whether or not a Final or Preliminary Loss Mitigation Affidavit is included among the packet of papers that constitutes the Order to Docket mailed to the lendee or posted to the mortgaged property. The foreclosure mediation itself can yield different results, but failure to conduct the mediation upon the agreed date without a postponement or the necessary motions filed can lead to the foreclosure sale. Nevertheless, the receipt of an Order to Docket does not mean that the mortgaged property is lost to foreclosure already, because there are still a number of options available to the lendee.

If you have received an order to docket in Maryland you may be asking yourself what options you have. You may be out of time to save your home via a refinance, or modification but generally we still have time for a short sale. We can help you with this if you contact us today.