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Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) published the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) final rule on Dec. 1, 2010 directed at companies that offer loan modification services to consumers for a fee; it requires certain disclosures and prohibits upfront fees. The FTC later announced that it would forbear from enforcing most provisions of the MARS Rule against real estate professionals who assist financially distressed consumers in obtaining short sales. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is now the enforcement agency and is pledged to honor the forbearance previously announced by the FTC.

January 13, 2012
Why he appreciates the FTC's decision not to enforce provisions of its Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule against real estate professionals who help their clients obtain short sales.
August 1, 2011
The Federal Trade Commission's Tom Pahl explains the rationale for the FTC's action on the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule and what it means for real estate professionals. In addition, NAR's Charlie Dawson discusses the next steps following the FTC's action.
May 11, 2011
A new rule from the Federal Trade Commission that aims to protect home owners from mortgage relief scams may impact real estate professionals who represent clients involved in short sale transactions.

Understand the Issue

Q&A: When Will the MARS Rule Apply to Real Estate Pros?

Although the FTC decided provisions of its Mortgage Assistance Relief Services rule won't be enforced against real estate professionals, there are exceptions in cases of misrepresentations. Read a Q&A discussing the FTC's forbearance and what it means.