Thursday, March 17, 2011

FTC issues final rule on Mortgage Assistance Relief Services

This a little late but it may still be of interest to some readers:

In December, the FTC issued its final rule on Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS). Here is the link to the Federal Register.

SUMMARY: Pursuant to the 2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act (Omnibus Appropriations Act), as clarified by the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 (Credit CARD Act), the Commission issues a Final Rule and Statement of Basis and Purpose (SBP) concerning the practices of for-profit companies that, in exchange for a fee, offer to work on behalf of consumers to help them obtain modifications to the terms of mortgage loans or to avoid foreclosure on those loans. The Final Rule, among other things, would: prohibit providers of such mortgage assistance relief services from making false or misleading claims; mandate that providers disclose certain information about these services; bar the collection of advance fees for these services; prohibit anyone from providing substantial assistance or support to another they know or consciously avoid knowing is engaged in a violation of the Rule; and impose recordkeeping and compliance requirements.