An Overview of Federal Real Estate Regulations: How to Advertise

by Isaac Benmergui, Esq on April 10, 2014

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Don’t you just hate it when you learn about a particular product online or through print ad only to find out that when you actually purchase it, it’s not all that it was cracked up to be? Mortgages are very much the same way. In fact, all of real estate law can be for sake of argument governed by a certain degree of truth and honesty. Here we have part II of our little series, going into some discussion on the idea of the Mortgage Acts and Practices McDonald's(MAP) Advertising law.

As with any professional in any industry, integrity and sincerity are key focuses. The law makes sure of that. When it comes to real estate professionals, too, we’ve got mandates with this particular real estate law saying that all communications must be documented either orally or on paper. If they’re not, legal problems might arise. This also means, undoubtedly, that a real estate professional can approach a prospective homebuyer to sell a home, but that professional better be realistic and honest about everything. If not, it can be considered misrepresentation of information and products.

It’s important, though, to note that “informational materials” don’t qualify under this rule. You might have someone particularly bitter about something you’ve sold, filing a complaint, but it won’t hold water in court because how they learned about the misrepresentation only arose from “informational materials.” Disclaimers, too, are a handy way of sideswiping the prospect of getting caught on marketing fire with the claims and accusations of a disgruntled buyer.

You have to expect some pretty serious consequences here, though. So don’t take this lightly. A violation of MAP can result in civil penalties of up to $16K each day. In addition, you may have to pay up for compensation as well. This law applies to everyone – real estate professional or buyer alike. Consult your attorney to find out if someone’s been misrepresenting at all.

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