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The FTC MAP Ruling and How It Impacts You

September 28 2012

Guest contributor RatePlug says:

alertIn August of 2011, the Federal Trade Commission passed new regulations, referred to as "MAP," that directly affect the real estate industry. What exactly does MAP stand for? More Annoying Paperwork? Sounds like a bowl of alphabet soup! Our government has a way of using acronyms for just about everything, which really gives the public no clue as to what really is being passed.

The Mortgage Acts and Practices (MAP) regulations were enacted to regulate unfair or deceptive advertising of mortgage products by anyone involved in a real estate transaction. This includes builders, mortgage brokers, lenders, and real estate professionals like you!

Ask yourself the following four questions to see how the MAP ruling impacts your day-to-day business practices:

  1. Do you provide your clients ANY mortgage related information (flyers, rate information, etc.) to assist them in the buying process?
  2. Does your marketing collateral or website have any misleading mortgage tools or statements?
  3. Do you provide a relationship disclosure on ALL mortgage related advertising?
  4. Do you maintain archived records for two years on all mortgage information provided to your clients? Are those records retrievable by date, agents involved, and property address?

If you answered YES to # 1 or # 2, or NO to #3 or #4, you are at risk!

The MAP ruling requires that you provide a relationship disclaimer on all mortgage related information provided to your client. Additionally, all mortgage related information must be ARCHIVED for two years. Failure to comply can result in censure from the OCC (Office of Currency and Comptroller), or the Consumer Finance Protection Board, which could result in monetary fines and deeper probes into your business!

This process can be tedious for an individual agent to manage from a timing, technological and logistical standpoint, as well as potentially putting the broker of record at risk. This is one reason why many of the largest brokers and MLS organizations in the country have chosen to seek expert help from companies such as RatePlug.

RatePlug provides real estate professionals full protection from these new guidelines by ensuring that all marketing flyers display the appropriate relationship disclaimer in addition to providing a state of the art archiving system for all flyers and displays containing mortgage information for a period of six years.

To help guide you through a better understanding of the new FTC MAP guidelines and to learn how RatePlug can offer you a no-cost solution, contact us at 1-877-710-0808 or [email protected].