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

Yes. The MARS rule prohibits several practices on the part of mortgage assistance relief service providers seeking to obtain relief on your behalf from your bank. 

The MARS rule

  • prohibits mortgage assistance relief service providers from making false or misleading claims about their services, including claims about the following:
    • The likelihood that the homeowner will get the promised results.
    • The time it will take to obtain 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 the homeowner with legal representation.
    • 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.
    • The cost of the services.
  • bars mortgage assistance relief service providers from instructing homeowners to stop communicating with the homeowner's lender or servicer.
  • prohibits providers from making any claims about the benefits, performance, or effectiveness of their services unless the provider has reliable evidence to support these claims.

Note: The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) does not supervise mortgage assistance relief service providers. 

Refer to 12 CFR 1015 “Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (Regulation O)”.

Last Reviewed: October 2020

Please note: The terms "bank" and "banks" used in these answers generally refer to national banks, federal savings associations, and federal branches or agencies of foreign banking organizations that are regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC). Find out if the OCC regulates your bank. Information provided on HelpWithMyBank.gov should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion of the OCC.

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