Mars is the red planet, but MARS has some real estate professionals seeing red.
The National Association of Realtors is working to fine-tune MARS – the acronym for Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Act – regarding real estate brokers, although some brokers already are cheering MARS.
The act, sponsored by the FTC, with relatively little fanfare, went into effect on Jan. 31 to help protect distressed homeowners from mortgage relief scams. Only now, does it appear to have started appearing on the radar screen of many Realtors.
MARS lands on Realtors who do short sales
The 54-page MARS document defines “mortgage assistance relief service” to include “negotiating, obtaining or arranging a short sale of a dwelling.” A short sale is when a bank accepts less than the mortgage amount, and is seen as a less costly alternative to a foreclosure. There were more than 3,300 short sales in the Denver area last year.