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Baltimore releases instructions for real estate workaround during ransomware attack

Posted at 3:36 AM, May 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-20 08:45:59-04

Baltimore has come up with a workaround for real estate transactions while the city continues to deal with an ongoing ransomware attack.

It was discovered on the morning of May 7 and has caused issues for the city's servers.

Services like 911 and 311 aren't impacted, but the city's real estate industry is. Realtors aren't able to close transactions.

The workaround the city has come up with is below. Starting today, the Wolman Municipal Building will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.

  • Baltimore City will accept requests for lien certificates in person at the Abel Wolman Municipal Building at 200 N. Holliday Street, in Room 1. All transactions must be made in-person.
  • Any seller or transferor of a property will be required to sign a form Affidavit for Payment of Outstanding Charges. The Affidavit will re-affirm the transferor’s obligation to pay any outstanding charges that would otherwise appear on a lien certificate together with a promise to pay such charges within 10 days of receipt of an invoice from the City.
  • While the mainframe is inaccessible, the city will issue lien certificates showing zero liens and including a reference to the form Affidavit. This will remove any responsibility for paying any property debts or settling the liens from the new owner of the property. That responsibility will rest solely on the transferor.
  • At the time of recording, the responsible parties should pay all the open liens of which they are aware by check or money order.
  • The lien certificate, with the Affidavit attached, should be hand-delivered to Room 1B of the Abel Wolman Municipal Building at 200 N. Holliday Street.

You can find the full statement from Mayor Jack Young here.