Need Foreclosure Relief in Atlanta, Georgia? New Federal Trade Commission Rules for Mortgage Relief Companies Will Protect Georgia Homeowners

If you are facing a foreclosure in Atlanta, Georgia, you may wonder whether it is a good idea to retain the services of a foreclosure rescue or home loan modification company. In an exciting development, the Federal Trade Commission has announced announced that mortgage foreclosure rescue and loan modification services will be prohibited from collecting fees until AFTER homeowners have received an acceptable, written offer from their lender or mortgage servicer. This measure, known as the advance-fee ban of the Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rule (MARS), is aimed at shutting down scam foreclosure rescue companies that prey upon desperate homeowners facing foreclosure.

The fraudulent companies often promise to negotiate with lenders in order to get a loan modification or short-sale, charge a fee and then do not obtain any form of relief. The new rule will require companies to disclose information often used to mislead homeowners such as the fact that they are not a government agency, lenders are not required to modify loans and if they advise a homeowner to stop making mortgage payments they must also inform them that this can damage their credit rating and even cause them to lose their home. They are also banned from making misleading claims about their services including claims related to: the likelihood of favorable results, alternatives to for-profit mortgage relief services and the amount of savings to the homeowner. Attorneys are exempt from the new rule provided that they are engaged in the practice of law, licensed in the client’s state or the state where the dwelling is located, in compliance with state laws and regulations regarding attorney conduct, and properly use a client-trust account.

The advance-fee ban will take effect on January 31, 2011 and the other provisions of the rule will go into effect on December 29, 2010.

If you are a homeowner facing foreclosure please seek the advice of a qualified attorney. For a free consultation please contact the Law Offices of Charles Clapp, LLP at (404) 585-0040 or email