FTC Asks For Public Comment On Servicing, Modifications

deral Trade Commission (FTC), in the midst of a rule-making proceeding, is seeking public comment relating to the fairness of loan modification and foreclosure rescue practices. The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services rule making addresses the proliferation of such services in the current economy. Public comment will allow the FTC to assess whether rules would be useful in protecting consumers of these services, and the commission is particularly interested in receiving comment on the costs and benefits of prohibiting or restricting the payment of advance fees for loan modification and foreclosure rescue services. The Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has a 45-day public-comment period ending Wednesday, July 15. In addition, the FTC is seeking comment on a second rule making, the Mortgage Acts and Practices rule making, which addresses activities that occur throughout the life cycle of a mortgage loan: advertising and marketing; origination, including underwriting, loan terms and disclosures; appraisals; and servicing. The FTC is particularly interested in receiving comments about mortgage servicing, the commission says. The Mortgage Acts and Practices Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking has a 60-day public-comment period ending Thursday, July 30. The FTC rule-making proceeding is required by Section 626 of the Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, which was authored by Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D. Any proposed rules would apply only to entities within the FTC's jurisdiction under the FTC Act, which excludes banks, thrifts and federal credit unions. The scope of any proposed rules will conform to the clarifications on the FTC's rule-making authority under the Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009, which President Obama signed on May 22. Comments on the rule-making proceedings should include either the reference "Mortgage Assistance Relief Services Rulemaking, Rule No. R911003" or the reference "Mortgage Acts and Practices Rulemaking, Rule No. R911004" to facilitate organization of comments. SOUR

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