A new Federal Trade Commission rule requires real estate agents who negotiate short sales to make disclosures to consumers. The intent is to protect consumers from predatory foreclosure rescue companies that charge upfront fees for loan modifications or negotiation services. Many of these services turned out to be scams and many homeowners lost thousands of dollars that they couldn’t afford to lose. Because the FTC definition of “negotiate” includes communication with a lender about the possibility of a short sale transaction, real estate agents must comply. There are three types of disclosures that may need to be made. The first is required when a real estate agent advertises MARS services that are not directed at a specific consumer (such as informational blog posts). Below is the disclosure I will be using.
Total Property Resources LLC 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.
The second disclosure is required when working with a specific client and the third is required upon receipt of the lender’s short sale approval letter. Agents who negotiate short sales and promote their services as a way to help consumers avoid foreclosure must comply with the new MARS disclosure rules.