Federal Trade Commission Disclosures Pursuant to the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Final Rule (“MARS rule”)
From: Jim McCormack and Reliant Realty (collectively “Broker”)
General Commercial Communications Disclosures
A real estate professional that advertises MARS services which is not directed at a specific consumer will need to include in all advertisements a clear and prominent disclosure with the following:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Broker is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.
Consumer-Specific Commercial Communications
The second disclosure is required in all communications that the MARS provider directs to specific “prospective” clients, and so these disclosures may need to be made by a real estate professional that represents a seller in a short sale transaction. These communications must be provided by the MARS provider before the provider begins mortgage-assistance services on behalf of the consumer. As discussed in this article, the time when the real estate professional needs to provide this disclosure will vary, as a listing broker may not be aware that the transaction will need to be a short sale until far into the listing process.
In order to comply with this disclosure requirement, a listing broker should provide this disclosure to the client in a letter or memo once he/she is aware the transaction may be a short sale, highlighting this fact in the document and prominently displaying the below disclosure statement. The real estate professional should work with their attorney in drafting this document. NAR has also provided a model disclosure form- click here to view. The disclosure must provide the following:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender [or servicer]. If you reject the offer, you do not have to pay us. If you accept the offer, you will have to pay us (insert amount or method for calculating the amount) for our services. Broker is not associated with the government, and our service is not approved by the government or your lender. Even if you accept this offer and use our service, your lender may not agree to change your loan. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.
Disclosure When Providing an Offer of Mortgage Relief
The third disclosure needs to be provided, in a clear and prominent manner, at the time the real estate professional presents its client with the lender’s short sale approval letter. The disclosure must be provided on a separate page and state:
IMPORTANT NOTICE: Before buying this service, consider the following information (in two point-type larger than the font size of the disclosure): This is an offer of mortgage assistance we obtained from your lender [or servicer].You may accept or reject the offer. If you reject the offer, you do not have to pay us. If you accept the offer, you will have to pay us [same amount as disclosed previously] for our services. If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.
The real estate professional must also provide a notice from the lender or servicer that describes all material differences between the seller’s current loan and the lender’s proposal to modify the loan if the seller accepts the short sale offer, which may include the lender holding the seller liable for the deficiency amount. This information will likely be contained in the lenders short sale approval letter.
Jim McCormack is a Nashville Real Estate Broker who provides Expert Real Estate Solutions for for Nashville, Brentwood, Franklin, Nolensville, Spring Hill, Thompson’s Station, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, LaVergne (La Vergne), Antioch, Columbia, Mt. Juliet (Mount Juliet), Springfield, Gallatin, Hermitage, Hendersonville, Clarksville and Middle Tennessee (Davidson, Maury, Montgomery, Robertson, Rutherford, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson Counties) Homeowners and Real Estate Investors Facing Foreclosure and Needing to Short Sell Their Homes and/or Investment Properties. Jim Specializes in Short Sales and Foreclosures and Providing Sellers Short Sale Help and Foreclosure Help. Jim’s Help is Free to Nashville TN Short Sale Sellers. Jim Helps Sellers Stop Bank and Mortgage Foreclosure with a Short Sale, or a Fast Cash Offer. Avoid Foreclosure by Working Directly with a Nashville Tennessee Real Estate Expert and Investor who is Uniquely Skilled, Honest, Compassionate, Caring and Exceptionally responsive to the needs of his clients. Jim Encourages You to See What His Clients Say About Him. For Buyers, Jim understands the Various Nashville Tennessee Housing and Investment Real Estate Markets Extremely Well and is Particularly Skilled at Assisting Buyers with Determining the Market Values of Homes and Investment Properties. Due to that Real Estate Valuation Expertise, Jim can Help Nashville Home and Investment Property Buyers Get Fantastic Deals on Their Nashville Area Real Estate Purchases.