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By: Henry Lerner, Esq. on in  | 

New rules could affect business practices of many Realtors®

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has recently implemented the new Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising (MAP) rules, designed to prohibit misrepresentations regarding mortgage products. Along with forbidding misrepresentations by a broad group of entities, including real estate agents and brokers, the rules also impose a new recordkeeping requirement that could affect the daily business practices of many Realtors®.

The MAP rules make it a violation “for any person to make any material misrepresentation, expressly or by implication, in any commercial communication, regarding any terms of any mortgage credit product.” It also imposes a requirement that those who make commercial communications keep copies of the communications and certain other information for two years after the communication is made.

These rules are brand new – they went into effect on August 19, 2011 – and this area of regulation has been handed off to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), so there is no history to say exactly how the requirements will be interpreted. Realtors® should keep tabs on developments through NAR and PAR, through updates that will be posted as more information becomes available.

Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising (MAP) rules

FAQ explaining more about the MAP rules

3 Responses
  • August 26, 2011 at 9:49 am Melanie McLane says

    Another example of well intentioned, but useless government intervention! There appears to be NO distinction between what products are discussed in an advertisement, and the products the consumer actually ends up with–so the fact that the consumer gets and signs a GFE and a HUD1 where the HUD1 relates back to the GFE apparently means–NOTHING! I’m reading this as the consumer can be “harmed” by hearing about a mortgage product he did NOT get. Yipes!

    Reply
  • August 26, 2011 at 10:57 am Art Bowen says

    Here we go again. Does the government want to put the Realtors out of business also. We can’t call a FSBO but our legislators can call us! Who pays the bills around here? Where is our association on both State and National levels in support of the Realtors doing the work and getting hamstrung by government rules and regs which inhibit our production.
    This whole MAP issue is not even understood by most Realtors and will be a confused mess as to what we can and cannot say and do.

    Where is our leadership and how does this type legislation get passed?

    Reply
  • August 29, 2011 at 2:36 pm Hank Lerner, Esq. says

    Thanks for your comments. I can tell you that NAR did work to exempt most real estate professionals from these rules. A link to NAR’s comments to the FTC can be found linked in the 3d paragraph of their explanation of the rules at http://www.realtor.org/letterlw.nsf/pages/0811maprule?OpenDocument&Login

    Unfortunately, with all the lobbying success at NAR they don’t always get what they want. That said, I’d point out that the original short-sale MARS rules were implemented even with NAR’s opposition, but those rules were later pulled back after the regulators realized the problems that were created. I’m sure that NAR will continue to monitor these rules and do what they can to secure modifications if possible.

    Reply

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