Maryland Passes Bill Banning Unfair Real Estate Fee Agreements
April 18, 2023
Maryland joined a growing list of states to pass legislation that protects homeowners from the predatory practice of filing of unfair real estate fee agreements in property records, known as Non-Title Record Agreements for Personal Service (NTRAPS).
Maryland passed Senate Bill 579, which is supported by ALTA, the Maryland Land Title Association (MLTA), AARP and AARP Maryland. The legislation goes into effect June 1, 2023.
“Passage of this legislation is a win for consumer protection and property rights,” said Elizabeth Blosser, ALTA’s Vice President of Government Affairs “A home often is a consumer’s largest investment, and the best way to support the certainty of landownership is through public policy. We have to ensure that there are no unreasonable restraints on a homebuyer’s future ability to sell or refinance their property due to unwarranted transactional costs.”
Maryland became the seventh state to pass legislation addressing this issue. Other states include Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, North Dakota and Tennessee.
“This is a bipartisan consumer protection issue,” said Jennifer Greenberg CLTP, President of the MLTA. “We applaud the lawmakers who have made clear these unfair agreements have no place in our state.”
NTRAPS have been recorded in property records since 2018. The practice preys upon homeowners, offering small cash gifts in exchange for decades-long contracts for the exclusive rights to sell the property.
Submitting NTRAPS for inclusion in property records characterized as liens, covenants, encumbrances, or security interests in exchange for money creates impediments and increases the cost and complexity of transferring or financing real estate in the future.
“This follows our advocacy efforts we have undertaken in collaboration with ALTA in other states and we hope to work on similar legislative solutions in other states in helping homeowners against such predatory housing practices,” said Samar Jha, Government Affairs Director for AARP.
Maryland’s law will:
- Make NTRAPS unenforceable by law.
- Restrict and prohibit the recording of NTRAPS in property records.
- Create penalties if NTRAPS are recorded in property records.
- Provide for the removal of NTRAPS from property records and recovery of damages.
Contact ALTA at 202-296-3671 or email@example.com.