FTC Issues New Rule on Mortgage Scammers


As the economic crisis continues for many homeowners, the Federal Trade Commission has taken actions to protect homeowners from mortgage relief scams. Most of the new requirements took effect on December 29, 2010, and all of the new requirements can be applied to affiliate marketers, who immediately need to be aware of the rule.

The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rule was approved by the FTC to protect distressed homeowners from mortgage relief scams. Some companies falsely claim that, for a fee, they will negotiate with a mortgage lender to obtain relief from foreclosure. In the case of bogus operations, this is a scam, and the FTC has brought dozens of cases against them.

The rule prohibits mortgage relief companies from making false or misleading claims, including claims about the likelihood that consumers will gain the relief that they seek, the consumer’s payment and other mortgage obligations, and the amount of money the consumer will save by using the company’s services. These prohibitions went into effect on December 29 and thus are now effective.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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