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Congresswoman Waters Applauds FTC For Issuing Final Rule To Protect Homeowners From Foreclosure Rescue Scams

November 19, 2010
Press Release

Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, released the following statement in response to the announcement today by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) issuing a final rule to protect distressed homeowners from mortgage relief scams.

"I commend the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) for taking action to protect struggling homeowners from loan modification and foreclosure rescue scammers through the issuance of its final Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (MARS) rule.  Throughout America, homeowners continue to struggle with making their monthly mortgage payments. Yet sadly, foreclosure rescue and loan modification scammers are preying on these homeowners, deceiving them into paying thousands of dollars upfront for little or no services.  The MARS rule will prohibit foreclosure rescue and loan modification services from collecting fees upfront unless the homeowner receives a written loan modification offer from the lender or servicer that they decide to accept.

"Today's rule comes as a victory at the end of a long battle by both federal regulators and Congress to expose these predatory actors and take action to protect homeowners. Last year, I held a hearing in my Subcommittee to look at the emerging issue of foreclosure rescue fraud. As a result of that hearing and my work with defrauded homeowners, I included provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to give the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau jurisdiction over these scammers and to prohibit lawyers from engaging in deceptive foreclosure fraud rescue scams.  This rule will provide much needed protections for homeowners until the CFPB is created. Protecting struggling homeowners has long been a priority for me and I look forward to continuing to work with the FTC and the CFPB to keep American homeowners safe from predatory actors in the real estate market."