Landlords and Property Management
The tenant must notify property management of ACP participation. State law requires landlords and property managers to use the participant's substitute address on internal and external records.
Responsibilities as a Landlord or Property Manager
- Obtain a copy of the tenant's ACP card
- Keep a copy of the Notice of ACP Participation form, provided by the tenant, on file
- Allow tenant to omit his or her name from the mailbox or wherever else it might be posted
- Always protect an ACP participant's address
When Court Action is Necessary
Never use a participant's name and address together when filing a Failure To Pay Rent or any other court action – it is against the law!
- For FTPR cases or other court actions in which the participant's current address will be referenced, omit the participant's name (occupant, resident, or John Doe are all acceptable replacements)
- For court actions in which the participant's current address will NOT be referenced, use the participant's substitute address
- Service of Process is accepted on participants' behalf at the Office of the Secretary of State at 16 Francis Street, Annapolis MD 21401
Real Property Purchase and Deed Shielding
Participants in Maryland's Safe at Home Address Confidentiality Program may safely purchase or inherit property by shielding their deed and other real property transaction instruments from public record.
- Before you apply for financing or begin any real property transaction, notify the ACP. We will walk you through the steps necessary to request deed shielding and keep your information off public record.
- If you do not notify ACP before your information is sold, transferred, or recorded publicly, you may risk your address confidentiality. The ACP cannot redact information once it becomes public.
- Notify everyone involved in the real property transaction of your ACP participation by providing them a signed copy of the Notice of ACP Participation form.
Real Estate Agents
- Make sure the ACP participant has not already applied for financing or done anything else to compromise the confidentiality of the address of the property (s)he intends to purchase.
- List any person who might be involved in the real property transaction. Everyone who will see the participant's name with the address must be put on notice. The participant likely will not be aware of the many parties who will need to receive notice. Brainstorm with the participant to help ensure that everyone has received notice and will protect her info.
- Give a completed Notice of ACP Participation to anyone included in the transaction who has not yet been notified; especially to anyone who will interact directly with you, but not the participant.
- Inform the participant of the name, position, company, date and any other pertinent information, of anyone you put on notice on behalf of the participant.
- For the safety of your client, do not sell the loan.
- If the loan must be sold or transferred, State law requires you to first notify the ACP participant and gain specific, written consent from the participant for the disclosure of participant information. Consent cannot be obtained during initial paperwork.
- If you sell or transfer a participant's loan, include a completed Notice of ACP Participation form with the participant's information, as well as this information sheet. The Notice should accompany participant information at all times.
- The mortgage or any other instrument to be recorded must be shielded from public record. Prepare the document as you would for any other client using the property address. Any instrument must be accompanied by a Real Property ACP Notice when it is submitted for recording. Obtain the Real Property ACP Notice from the ACP or the title company if it was not included in the loan package.
- Make sure you receive the loan package with the recorded mortgage from the title company after recording. Once it is shielded, a certified copy might not be obtainable.
- Discuss the real property transaction with the participant to verify that everyone involved has been provided the Notice of ACP Participation and understands their responsibility.
- Give a completed Notice of ACP Participation to anyone included in the transaction who has not yet been notified.
- Call the ACP at 410.260.3875 and give the name and ACP number of the participant, the county of the property being purchased, and the intended date of settlement.
- The ACP will notify the appropriate circuit court and finance office that an ACP deed will be submitted for recordation.
- Complete the Real Property ACP Notice form (available from the ACP office) for the participant to sign at settlement.
- At settlement, bring three (3) copies of the completed Real Property ACP Notice for the participant to sign. Treat the Real Property ACP Notice as if it were the cover page to the deed (or other instrument to be recorded) and keep the Real Property ACP Notice with the deed at all times.
- Do not mail or submit electronically any instrument to be shielded. You must submit in person or via mail the Real Property ACP Notice with the deed to the county (and city, when applicable) tax office and circuit court land records. Ask for a supervisor or address your package to the supervisor to be sure the deed and Notice are handled properly.
- Mail the third copy of the Real Property ACP Notice (without the deed or instrument) to: ACP, PO Box 2995, Annapolis, MD 21404.
- If you rely on a third party such as an abstractor to present the deed for recordation, you must first obtain written consent from the participant, then provide the participant's Notice of ACP Participation to the abstractor.
Access Shielded Records
Permission to view shielded property records may be provided for a bona fide title search at the discretion of the Secretary. Call the ACP at 410.260.3875 for the Request for the Disclosure of Shielded Real Property Records form. Only forms completed in their entirety will be considered for approval.
Task Force to Study Recording Deeds for Victims of Domestic Violence
Final Report December 2017
November 2017 Meeting Details:
August 2017 Meeting Details:
June 2017 Meeting Details:
April 2017 Meeting Details:
February 2017 Meeting Details:
November 2016 Meeting Details: