by Moss Sidell

``There has been some recent discussion in the media of possible impending restrictions by the Federal Trade Commission ("FTC") in repealing the exemption in the FTC's Mortgage Assistance Relief Services ("MARS") Rule, which was issued in November 2010, allowing attorneys to accept advance fees from clients when representing them in foreclosure defense issues. The logic behind this is that the FBI in the results of the Distressed Homeowner Initiative which was released in October 2012, highlighted the actions of unscrupulous attorneys having taken advantage of desperate borrowers who face potential foreclosure and having furthered mortgage fraud. According to the report, the FBI has stated that sham mortgage modification services have avoided the advance-fee prohibition of the MARS Rule by using attorneys and claiming that the upfront fees are legal retainers.''

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