Mortgage Assistance Relief Services (“MARS”) Rule Definition of “Clear and Prominent”

Posted on March 27, 2011 by Michelle Lind

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  1. In textual communications, (which includes any communications in a written or printed form such as print publications or words displayed on the screen of a Computer): the required disclosures shall be
    • easily readable;
    • in a high degree of contrast from the immediate background on which it appears;
    • in the same languages that are substantially used in the commercial communication; in a format so that the disclosure is distinct from other text, such as inside a border;
    • in a distinct type style, such as bold; parallel to the base of the commercial communication, and,
    • except as otherwise provided in this rule, each letter of the disclosure shall be, at a minimum, the larger of 12-point type or one-half the size of the largest letter or numeral used in the name of the advertised website or telephone number to which consumers are referred to receive information relating to any mortgage assistance relief service.
  2. In communications disseminated orally or through audible means, such as radio or streaming audio the required disclosures shall be:
    • delivered in a slow and deliberate manner and in a reasonably understandable volume and pitch;
  3. In communications disseminated through video means, such as television or streaming video the required disclosures shall:
    • appear simultaneously in the audio and visual parts of the commercial communication and be delivered in a manner consistent with paragraphs (1) and (2) above.
    • The visual disclosure shall be at least four percent of the vertical picture or screen height and appear for the duration of the oral disclosure;
  4. In communications made through interactive media, such as the Internet, online services, and software, the required disclosures shall:
    • Be consistent with paragraphs (1) through (3) above;
    • Be made on, or immediately prior to, the page on which the consumer takes any action to incur any financial obligation;
    • Be unavoidable, i.e., visible to consumers without requiring them to scroll down a webpage; and
    • Appear in type at least the same size as the largest character of the advertisement;
  5. In all instances, the required disclosures shall:
    • be presented in an understandable language and syntax,
    • and with nothing contrary to, inconsistent with, or in mitigation of the disclosures used in any communication of them;
  6. For program-length television, radio, or Internet-based multi-media commercial communications, the required disclosures shall:
    • be made at the beginning, near the middle, and at the end of the commercial communication.

Michelle Lind

Bio:

AAR Chief Executive Officer Michelle Lind is a State Bar of Arizona board-certified real estate specialist and the author of Arizona Real Estate: A Professional’s Guide to Law & Practice. This article is of a general nature and may not be updated or revised for accuracy as statutory or case law changes following the date of first publication. Further, this article reflects only the opinion of the author, is not intended as definitive legal advice, and you should not act upon it without seeking independent legal counsel.

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