Maryland Court of Appeals votes 5-2 to overturn the most controversial part of Maryland’s antiquated ground rent law, according to the Baltimore Sun.  Hopefully this loophole won’t result in people losing their homes again, as reported a few years ago in the Sun. Here’s an older post about Baltimore’s ground rent controversy, with links to the Sun’s older articles. (Thanks to Reader Rusty for the link!)

BCFD rescued a man from his burning home Wednesday (next door to a boarded up vacant owned by HABC), thankfully there were enough personnel and equipment available.  If the City has its way, and is able to cut the fire department’s budget by $10 million, I have to wonder how many people will have longer wait times during emergencies. (Thanks to Reader Rusty for this link, too!)

Photographer Eve Morgenstern has a photo exhibit of abandoned homes in Oakland, California.  Beautiful, don’t you think?

Slums around the world — before and after.  Communities really can come together to improve the lives of the poor, in meaningful cost-effective ways.  They just don’t do it in America — the richest nation in the world.  Very odd. (Thanks to reader RMS for the link!)

Baltimore City will now collect styrofoam for recycling.  While this is better than nothing (hence all of the junk in the harbor) — we’d prefer the city implement a ban on polystyrene, as they did in Portland, Oregon.

Speaking of bans — we’d also like to see a ban, or a fee for the use of, plastic shopping bags.  If you haven’t been to DC lately — in the neighborhoods where the bag fee is enforced, the streets are incredibly clean.  No bags in the street!

The default rate for first and second mortgages increased slightly in September, according to a report issued by S&P.

A Severn title company owner was sentenced for his mortgage scams, according to the FBI.

Working paper available for download: The Impact of Vacant, Tax-Delinquent, and Foreclosed Property on Sales Prices of Neighboring Homes (From the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland).