How current events impact your business and real estate holdings

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

The FTC is Investigating Deceptive Ads in Real Estate Marketing

According to Ad Age, the leading publication in the advertising industry, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) are jointly investigating deceptive ads concerning mortgage modifications, short sales and workouts.

To read the article, click here.

The article expressly states that real estate agents have received warning letters from the FTC. Of specific concern to the FTC & CFPB was the practice of utilizing images of President Barack Obama in ads promoting loan-modification services, which wrongfully communicate to consumers that certain services are affiliated with the government. If you use the President's image on your advertisements, take it down now! 

Real estate agents this is important. When you work in mortgage relief, you must be mindful of the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) Rules from the FTC, a summary of which can be found by clicking here.  Also, in New York, Distressed Property Consultants must additionally comply with Real Property Law section 265-B, the text of which can be found by clicking here

During each of our continuing education courses to real estate agents on foreclosure, whether its Foreclosure and the Economy: the Short Sale Course; or Foreclosure Filibusters we always stress the importance of these laws and regulations. Unfortunately, we always also get responses from agents that we are being ridiculous. This is very serious and far from ridiculous.

Real estate agents should also be mindful that the FTC's watchful eye is not restricted to mortgage modifications. As stated in our course, To be Green or Not to be Green: That is the Question, the Green Guides are available by the FTC and demonstrate the need to be candid and avoid deception in advertising Green Housing & Buildings. To read the Green Guides, click here

As Lieb School always states: You are a real estate Professional; knowing these laws makes you a value-add to your clients and customers. Now go study.