City of Baltimore Hacking Vulnerability Precludes City from Issuing Lien Certificates
The City of Baltimore has reported that its computer systems are undergoing a “ransomware” attack. As a result of the issue, the City is unable to generate lien certificates attesting as to the outstanding amounts due to it for utility services for any given property within the City limits – information that is generally required in order to safely finalize the deed recording process. While the City has not precluded deed recordings, any deed recording is subject to the risk that there may be a utility lien(s) on the property, which would then become the financial obligation of the recipient of the property.
Given the probability of risk associated with recording deeds absent knowledge of the sum of a utility lien, if any, we recommend that deed recordings be limited to priority files, high value loans, or GSE files where waiting may be too costly, and only if you are willing to accept the risk. Otherwise, we suggest that you cease deed recordings until the City’s computer issues have been fully remediated. We will advise you as soon as the City alerts the public that the issue has been fixed.
That being said, until the issue is fixed, if you accept the risk that liens may be existing on the property that you take by deed, which cannot be confirmed until some time after recording the deed, we will assist you with having the deed recorded.
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