Glen Burnie, MD asked in Foreclosure for Maryland

Q: Can I have a foreclosure that is closed/Inactive expunged?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Mark Oakley
Mark Oakley
  • Rockville, MD
  • Licensed in Maryland

A: Civil actions cannot be expunged. Expungement only applies to certain criminal charges. There are a few rare matters in civil cases or specific types of civil actions that can sometimes be sealed or shielded from public view. Foreclosures are not among those matters subject to the civil sealing or shielding rules. Our system of justice and governance is based on open public access to court records. Justice meted out behind closed doors is suspect. Public trust in the integrity of the judicial process is deemed to be tied directly to the public's open access to all case information and court files in the court system. Therefore, it is the extraordinary situation, such as the protection of a minor child's identity, or a person's personal identifying financial data (like active bank account numbers, credit card numbers, SSN, etc.) that may be shielded, piecemeal, within otherwise openly accessible files. But your name, the fact your mortgage lender foreclosed on your unpaid mortgage debt, the address of the property foreclosed upon--all of these are not deemed subject to shielding or sealing. Personal embarrassment or humiliation from the open airing of your debt problems is not deemed a sufficient basis for removal of such information from public view. I do not mean to say I agree with this, or that perhaps after some period of time such public information should not be removed (similar to the 7 and 10 year periods for removing derogatory entries from your credit reports under federal law), but it will take an act of each state's legislature to address the public access to court records within their various jurisdictions.

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