MARS Disclosure Forms

MARS Disclosure Forms/Language

Note:  All Disclosures Must be “Clear and Prominent”

Clear and prominent – Defined in the Rules for:
- Text communications
- Oral or audible communications (This method of communication requires slow and deliberate delivery in a reasonably understandable volume and pitch).
- Video communications
- Interactive/on-line communications

See the rule at 16 CFR Part 322.2 for specific clear and prominent requirements using the different methods of delivery listed above.  For text communications, in whatever media, the type must be “easily readable; in a high degree of contrast from the immediate background on which it appears; in the same languages that are substantially used in the commercial communication; in a format so that the disclosure is distinct from other text, such as inside a border; in a distinct type style, such as bold; parallel to the base of the commercial communication, and, …each letter of the disclosure shall be, at a minimum, the larger of 12-point type or one-half the size of the largest letter or numeral used in the name of the advertised website or telephone number to which consumers are referred to receive information relating to any mortgage assistance relief service.”

For oral/audible communications the required disclosures must be preceded by the statement, "Before using this service, consider the following information."

The sample disclosure language below is for written/text communications using any media.


FORM #1 - General Commercial Communications Disclosures

(For use when a real estate licensee holds himself out as an “expert” or as being in the business of providing mortgage relief assistance services.  Would a reasonable consumer assume this is your business?)

IMPORTANT NOTICE (in two point-type larger than the font size of the disclosure) (Name of Company) 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 you credit rating.

Download model form (.doc)

Source:  National Association of REALTORS®, http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/0211mars


FORM #2 – Sample Consumer Specific Commercial Communication Disclosure

(To be given to seller client when you become aware that the transaction will be a short sale)

Below is the mandatory language that a real brokerage firm must use when making the Consumer-Specific Commercial Communication disclosure required by the FTC’s MARS rule. 

This disclosure is required when a real estate professional either negotiates a short sale with a lender on behalf of a seller or arranges for a MARS provider to conduct these negotiations on behalf of the seller. The disclosure must be made before any negotiations take place. This language should appear in a memo or letter with the firm’s name, referencing the seller’s property that will be the subject of the short sale negotiations.

To learn more about the MARS rule, click here. As always, real estate professionals should consult their attorney when creating legal documents.

MORTGAGE ASSISTANCE RELIEF SERVICES DISCLOSURE

The following disclosure is made pursuant to the Federal Trade Commission’s MARS Rule (16 C.F.R.  §322 et seq.).

IMPORTANT NOTICE

You may stop doing business with us at any time. You may accept or reject the offer of mortgage assistance we obtain from your lender [or servicer]. If you reject the offer, you do not have to pay us. If you accept the offer, you will have to pay us (insert amount or method for calculating the amount) for our services.

(Name of brokerage) 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.

______________________________       _____________________
(Broker’s name)                                                Date
(Title)
(Firm name)

_________________    _____________________
Seller                                 Date

_________________    _____________________
Seller                                 Date

Download model disclosure form (.docx)

Source:  National Association of REALTORS®, http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/0211mars


FORM #3 - Disclosure When Providing an Offer of Mortgage Relief

(To be given to seller client when you receive the lender’s approval letter and must be on a separate page from the lender's approval letter. The lender’s approval letter must contain information about the difference in terms between the existing loan and the new deal, including any deficiency).

IMPORTANT NOTICE:  Before buying this service, consider the following information (in two point-type larger than the font size of the disclosure):  This is an offer of mortgage assistance we obtained from your lender [or servicer].  You may accept or reject the offer.  If you reject the offer, you do not have to pay us.  If you accept the offer, you will have to pay us [same amount as discussed previously] for our services.  If you stop paying your mortgage, you could lose your home and damage your credit rating.

Download model form (.doc)

Source:  National Association of REALTORS®, http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/0211mars

 

Reprinted with permission. Copyright National Association of REALTORS®