FTC Issues Final Rule on Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS)

Published: December 1, 2010

On November 19, 2010, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issued text of the Final Rule on Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) to be published in the Federal Register at a later date. The Rule: (1) prohibits providers of these services from making false or misleading claims; (2) requires disclosure of certain information about the services; (3) bans advance collection of payments for the services; and (4) prohibits those who may provide substantial assistance or support to providers who are in violation of the Rule. On March 29, 2010, NAR commented on the FTC’s proposed MARS rule. NAR asked the FTC to exempt real estate agents and brokers engaged in real estate functions with regard to short sales including the typical advice real estate agents offer clients and former clients.

In the preamble to the Rule, the Commission notes that real estate agents may perform functions such as listing homes for sale, showing homes, and finding desirable homes for consumers when properties are bought or sold through a short sale transaction. The Commission does not consider these services to be MARS and concludes that an exemption for real estate agents is not necessary.

FTC Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule >
NAR Comment on Proposed Rule >

Last modified: December 1, 2010 at 9:38 am | Originally published: December 1, 2010 at 9:38 am
Printed: September 24, 2020