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Gansler says mineral-rights leases may endanger homes

HAGERSTOWN — Maryland’s attorney general is urging people in the western part of the state to check with their mortgage lender before signing a mineral-rights lease.

Douglas Gansler says some federally approved mortgages have requirements that conflict with mineral-rights leases. He says property owners who are considering a mineral-rights lease should have their bank or mortgage lender sign off on it to avoid potential legal problems.

Gansler says those with property above the Marcellus Shale formation may be particularly vulnerable to high-pressure tactics by drilling companies looking for natural gas.

A state commission is currently studying the risks and benefits of drilling for gas within the Marcellus Shale in western Maryland.