Crackdown on Misleading Mortgage Ads

It’s easy to get fooled by advertising. And for the buyer, it’s potentially financially dangerous when ads don’t tell the truth about money products companies sell. There’s a slew of  questionable advertising about mortgages and financing a home.

If you are in the market for a mortgage or are considering refinancing your home, you’ve probably seen them.

That’s why the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau teamed up to go after companies and individuals that lure people into mortgages using misleading ads.

The ads often target older people and veterans.  Both agencies sent letters to more than 30 mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, real estate professionals and lead generators warning that their ads may violate federal law.
“Misrepresentations in mortgage products can deprive consumers of important information while making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray.  “Baiting consumers with false ads to buy into mortgage products would be illegal. We will conduct a fair and rigorous investigation into these issues and will take appropriate action for any violations we find.”

A review of about 800 ads found images, or text claiming a government affiliation that may be false,  alleged inaccurate information about interest rates and potentially misleading statements about the cost of reverse mortgages and the amount of cash or credit available to individuals.

There’s a lot of seriously bad information online and in advertising. It helps to arm yourself with the facts and consult experts who really have your best interests at heart.

 

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Barbara Nevins Taylor

As the winner of 22 Emmy Awards and a slew of journalism honors and awards, I created ConsumerMojo.com to give you the straight story about complicated stuff. Tell us what you want to know and we'll get you the answers.