Are you or your company charging a fee upfront to handle short sales? Better read this!
As of January 31, 2011, The Federal Trade Commission's Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Ruling says:
"...any type of business that provides a mortgage assistance relief service. The Rule defines "mortgage assistance relief service" as a service, plan or program that is represented, expressly or by implication, to help homeowners prevent or postpone foreclosure or help them get other kinds of relief, like loan modifications, forbearance agreements, short sales, deeds-in-lieu of foreclosure, or extensions of time to cure defaults or reinstate loans.
The ruling applies to real estate agents who transact short sales, as well as other professionals in the distressed property industry..... Civil penalties enforced by the FTC for non-compliance total $16,000 per occurrence.
What Does Mars Do?
This new ruling:
- Makes it illegal to collect upfront fees
- Requires specific disclosures in all communications and advertisements for mortgage assistance relief services, and
Requires specific record keeping for two years from the date of document creation." Information provided by CDPE (Certified Distressed Property Expert Institute)
There is much more to this article and I would be happy to email it to anyone for the asking. Things are changing fast in the distressed property world of real estate and we all need to keep abreast of the changing rules and regulations.