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.