Pertria Changes Business Practices To Comply With The Federal Trade Commission’s Mortgage Assistance Relief Service (MARS) Rule

This article is intended to inform consumers of new disclosure rules outlined by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and what Pertria is doing in accordance with these new guidelines.

Mortgage Assistance Relief Service (MARS) is defined as a “service, plan, or program offered or provided to the consumer in exchange for consideration” that provides services in relation to a consumer’s mortgage, including:

  • Negotiating a possible loan modification
  • Directing a consumer to stop or otherwise alter the amount of his/her mortgage payment
  • Modifying the consumer’s payment arrangements
  • Negotiating a short sale of a dwelling on behalf of a consumer

In effect since January 31, 2011, the MARS Rule:

  • Requires three specific disclosures to consumers (clients) of MARS services (this includes short sales)
  • Prohibits mortgage relief companies from making any false or misleading claims about their services and/or advising consumers to stop communicating with their lenders or servicers
  • Bars advance fees paid to a MARS provider and imposes strict record keeping requirements

The California Association of Realtors is in the process of generating standard forms to address the disclosure requirements. At this time they have yet to announce a specific date that the new disclosures will be available.

At Pertria we have drafted proprietary disclosures to ensure that we are in compliance with the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines and MARS Rule. These disclosures are our standard of practice effective immediately for all short sale business.