Mortgage Assistance Relief sets (MARS) Protects Consumers

Mortgage Assistance Relief sets (MARS) Protects Consumers

There is a new federal law that was passed by the FTC in November 2010 and went 100% into effect on January 31, 2011. It is called Mortgage Assistance Relief sets (MARS).

This new regulation was produced because there are some unscrupulous companies out there with one intent; to steal your money. I could say this in more polite terms but in reality they are just crooks. They make great sounding claims, charge you an upfront fee, and then either just disappear or do not perform any real sets. A person in financial distress is nevertheless in distress and now out already more money. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is trying to put an end to these predatory companies.

This law is aimed at those that are trying to defraud people by relief programs like loan modifications, forbearance, negotiations about your loan to change payments, and short sales. In short, if any company does anything that changes your current mortgage payment, including a sale, falls into MARS classification. This would include loan alteration companies, lawyers, loan negotiators, and real estate agents just to name a few. Again, it applies to these companies/people if they are involved with lenders and are assisting you to get you some form of relief from your current mortgage loan.

This law places several responsibilities on these assistance companies. It is important for you to know what these new provisions and guidelines are in order that you are protected. If someone violates these new rules do not do business with them. Let me sum up these provisions. I will discuss them in detail later in this article.

meaningful Points:

• They may not charge you upfront fees

• You can cancel their sets at any time with no fees

• If they do not get you new terms that you agree to then you owe them nothing

• They must be 100% honest in all claims and use no misleading advertising

• They must be upfront about any fees you may be charged

No Upfront Fees

I believe this is the greatest provision that will protect consumers. If these thieves cannot get money from you upfront that stops the companies from non-performance or just taking your money and running. But the meaningful to this success if for people to know they cannot be charged an upfront fee.

Cancel sets at any time

This will protect homeowners from companies who are not meeting your expectations. It could be they are not communicating properly and leaving you in the dark. It could be they are taking a very long time to perform. If the company or person who is helping you is not meeting your expectation then you may cancel their sets and not be charged any fees.

Terms you agree with

This company performs the negotiations on your behalf and obtains for you some form of relief. They may not charge you however. They must present to you, in writing, the details of the relief you will receive. You must agree to those terms. If you do not like the relief for any reason you may say no to it and owe nothing. You only pay if you agree with the terms of the proposal. They cannot charge you a fee just to see the relief. You have to see it and agree to it before anyone can charge you.

100% honesty

We would like to believe every company or person is honest with all of their advertising and dealings. Sadly, this is not the case. They use misleading tactics to acquire your trust and business. They may make wild claims like 100% success rate or ‘I am an expert’ when they really are not experts.

Another provision under MARS is that companies/people cannot pretend to be part of the government by using words like Federal or American. In fact, Mortgage Assistance Relief Service companies have to go a step further and truly declare in writing in improvement in all advertising (print, video, and web) that they are not associated with the federal government. They must be proactive in saying they are not part of the government and not approved by the government.

Upfront with fees

Finally, they must tell you what you will be charged if they acquire for you relief that you accept. They should also let you know who will pay those fees. for example, a loan alteration company will charge you while a real estate profession will typically be paid by the lender for a successful short sale.

Protect Yourself

If you find yourself in a financial pinch and you need the sets of a loan alteration company or a real estate specialized then you need to ask these 3 questions to them before you start using their sets.

1. Are you 100% MARS compliant

2. Explain to me how you are 100% MARS complaint

3. Will you put that in writing

It is very easy for some person to say yes to question 1 but questions number 2 and 3 are much tougher because they require real answers. If their answer to question #2 differs from what I explained above in any way then they are not MARS complaint. already if they can verbalize what MARS covers having them put it in writing will be the final test. You see, a MARS compliant company will already have these disclosures in writing. This is mandated by the FTC.

Also please be aware that some companies advise people to stop making payments on their mortgage or other bills. This is unnecessary to acquire relief and also illegal for them to advise you to do. (That is also part of MARS.)

One final piece of protection comes after they present to you the relief program. Do not agree to it closest unless you are 100% confident the company or agent is 100% honest. If you have any lingering questions they take the relief information and call your lender to verify the terms.

We have seen scams where people are mailing letters saying they are the new mortgage servicer and to send payments to some new company and address. The sad truth is these are fake companies who take the money then run. I could imagine a company pretending to be MARS compliant and then presenting a fake relief letter. If in doubt, go slow.

And as always if anything sounds too good to be true proceed with caution.

Are you financially facing tough times?

First let me say you are not alone and you have my heart felt sympathy for all you are going by. I would like to say proceed with anything you do slowly. I want you to know you have options. You can learn a little bit more about all the options obtainable to you by visiting my site at

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