Negotiations between NAR and the Federal Trade Commission over the MARS Rule have not yet produced the desired exemptions for Real Estate Professionals.

The MARS Rule remains in effect. (See earlier article HERE) (or just read the excerpt below)

If you work with clients who are doing short sales, thinking about short sales, or who you believe should be thinking about short sales, the Federal Trade Commission might be interested in you. You might not realize you’re engaging in what’s considered mortgage-relief counseling — when you cross the line from helping someone do a short sale to giving them advice about it.

If you cross that line, you enter the world of FTC’s regulations.

VAR has posted two forms for REALTORS® to use in Short Sale transactions.  The first form is titled “Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Disclosure” Consumer Specific Disclosure (VAR Form 400 M1). This form must be completed and given to a Seller whenever it becomes clear that negotiations for a short sale will be conducted with the Seller’s Lender. All forms are available to members at www.VARealtor.com/StandardForms. (You must be logged in to access VAR forms.)

The second Form is titled “Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Disclosure” Offer of Mortgage Relief (VAR Form 400 M2).  This form must be completed and presented to a Seller along with the approval of a short sale by the lender.

NAR has posted more information about MARS here.

A Q&A about MARS requirements will remain available in our Legal Resources Center for future reference for VAR members.