What is MARS?

By now, some of you may have heard about the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS). But what does it really mean and how does it impact you in the real world? Well an article written by AAR General Counsel, Michelle Lind explains it all. "The Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (“MARS”) Rule applies to any person that provides, offers to provide, or arranges for others to provide, any “mortgage assistance relief service.” A “mortgage assistance relief service” includes any service, plan, or program, offered or provided in exchange for consideration to assist or attempt to assist the consumer with negotiating, obtaining or arranging a short sale. Thus, despite initial uncertainty about this issue, it is now clear that a broker negotiating a short sale with a lender on behalf of the seller must comply with the MARS Rule."

What does that mean to you as a homeowner? Well now, more than ever before, it is important to hire a CDPE designated Realtor to assist with the short sale process. There are plenty of unscrupulously companies out there that are or have taken advantage of homeowners desperate for help. Don't be a victim to anyone offering to negotiate your short sale for an upfront fee! If you know someone who is facing foreclosure, call me so I can tell you about the options available.

For a complete copy of the MARS guidelines you can visit the Arizona Department of Real Estate's website at http://www.ftc.gov/os/fedreg/2010/december/R911003mars.pdf