Answers about Mortgages

Does the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule prohibit a mortgage relief services company from any specific practices?

The MARS rule prohibits foreclosure rescue providers from making false or misleading claims about their services, including:

  • The likelihood that the homeowner will get the promised results;
  • The time it will take to obtain these results;
  • The provider's affiliation with government or private entities;
  • The homeowner's obligation to make mortgage payments and meet other mortgage obligations;
  • The terms of the homeowner's mortgage loan, including the amount owed;
  • The provider's refund and cancellation policies;
  • Whether the provider performed the services promised;
  • Whether the provider will provide legal representation to the homeowner;
  • The availability or cost of alternatives to for-profit mortgage assistance relief services offered by the provider;
  • The amount of money the homeowner will save by using the provider's services; and
  • The cost of the services.

The MARS rule requires foreclosure rescue providers to have reliable evidence for any claims they make about the benefits, performance, or effectiveness of their services. Additionally, the rules bar anyone from instructing homeowners to stop communicating with the homeowner's lender or servicer.

Information on the Federal Trade Commission's Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule is available at

March 2011