MARS Update

by Michelle Lind on March 30, 2011



MARS UPDATE: AAR members may have received a copy of the Combs Law Group email regarding MARS. The information in the email was not based on a formal announcement from NAR or the FTC. Last week, NAR Counsel informed me that the FTC agreed that the “Disclosure to Prospective Customers” and the “Disclosures When Presenting a Short Sale Offer” do not work in the short sale context and could be misleading and confusing to consumers. NAR is hoping the FTC will approve the use of alternative or augmented language that will clarify matters. Although NAR indicated that the FTC stated that these two disclosures need not be given at this point, they continue to work with the FTC on written guidance. Therefore, AAR determined that the best course was to wait until NAR published written guidance sanctioned by the FTC before advising the members further. We anticipate receiving additional guidance from NAR and the FTC shortly and we will distribute it to the members as quickly as possible.


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Michelle Lind

K. Michelle Lind, Esq. is General Counsel/Assistant CEO to the Arizona Association of REALTORS® (AAR). She serves as the primary legal advisor to the association. Michelle oversees AAR’s Risk Management Committee, which includes professional standards administration for twenty of the state’s local REALTOR® associations, and the development of standard real estate forms. She is the author of Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law & Practice and a regular contributor to Arizona REALTOR® Magazine and the Arizona Journal of Real Estate & Business. Please note that this article is of a general nature and may not be updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kris Hammond March 31, 2011 at 7:55 am

Thank you for your efforts in this arena. I have an additional question about these new requirements based on efforts in my area by the legal profession to approach potential short sale clients and ask for $5,000 in advance to check their contract for errors and then go after the banks in an effort to keep people in their homes. Does this fit under this regulation?

Michelle Lind March 31, 2011 at 12:30 pm

Kris,

There is an exemption in the MARS Rule for attorneys if certain requirements are met. (See section 322.7)

Michelle

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