Telemarketer Selling Mortgage Loans, Refinancing and Other Products; "Spam Merchants" Who Allegedly Sent E-Mails Hawking Mortgage Opportunities
The following two cases were examined in prior issues of Advertising Compliance Service. One case involved a telemarketer selling mortgage loans, refinancing and other products. The other case involved "spam merchants" who sent allegedly illegal e-mails hawking mortgage opportunities.
FTC Complaint Involves Telemarketer Selling Mortgage Loans, Refinancing and Other Products
FTC claims that a nationwide telemarketer of mortgage loans has been calling people whose numbers are listed on the National Do Not Call Registry, and doing so without identifying itself. So FTC is seeking civil penalties and an injunction against the telemarketer for alleged violations of FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule. This is FTC's first case alleging transmission of false caller ID information.
According to an FTC complaint, Srikanth Venkataraman, has been doing business as Scorpio Systems, Ltd., selling mortgage loans, refinancing, and other products and services. Scorpio allegedly--
- called numbers on the Do Not Call Registry,
- failed to transmit its telephone number and name to consumers' caller identification service, and
- failed to pay the fee required to access the Registry.
NOTE: The Commission authorizes the filing of a complaint when it has `reason to believe' that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the Commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant actually has violated the law. The case will be decided by the court.
(USA v. Srikanth Venkataraman, an individual doing business as Scorpio Systems, Ltd., United States District Court for the District of New Jersey, Civil Action No. 06-1928 (MLC), FTC Matter No.: 052-3120, May 8, 2006; see also Advertising Compliance Service, Tab #2, General Articles, Article #536.)
"Spam Merchants" Sent Illegal E-Mails
Hawking Mortgage Opportunities: FTC
Two alleged "spam merchants" who "hijacked" consumers' computers and turned them into spamming machines agreed to settle FTC charges that they sent illegal e-mails hawking mortgage opportunities, a device for improving gas mileage, and other products and services.
The settlement follows 2005's cross-border crackdown on "button pushers" who triggered millions of unwanted e-mails to people across the nation while concealing the real sender.
In November 2005, FTC brought its lawsuit against Matthew Olson and Jennifer LeRoy, as part of this "button pusher" sweep. The settlement bars them from further violations of the CAN-SPAM Act, which requires that commercial e-mails contain accurate "from" information and subject lines, a working "opt-out" option, and a physical address, and clearly identify commercial spam as an advertisement. A $45,000 judgment against them will be suspended due to their inability to pay. It will be imposed if they are found to have misrepresented their financial condition.
NOTE: This stipulated final order is for settlement purposes only and does not constitute an admission by the defendant of a law violation. A stipulated final order requires approval by the court and has the force of law when signed by the judge.
(FTC v. Matthew Olson and Jennifer Leroy, United States District Court, Western District of Washington At Seattle, Civil Action No.C05-1979 (JCC); FTC Matter No.: 052 3180, April 17, 2006; see also Advertising Compliance Service, Tab #2, General Articles, Article #543.)
Mortgages, Refinances - Cases and Articles
- Mortgage Brokers Benefited from Spammer Actions: Two cases that were examined in previous issues of Advertising Compliance Service. They involved mortgage brokers who benefited from "spammer" actions and a Department of Justice (DOJ) Complaint that a mortgage services company violated FTC's Telemarketing Sales Rule (TSR) while marketing mortgage products and services.
- Mortgage Loan Advertised: Was Really Adjustable Rate Mortgage. Full text of "FTC: Mortgage Broker’s Deceptive Claims Tricked Consumers Looking for a Good Rate," dated June 2, 2004. This FTC case involved issues concerning refinancing (i.e., loan refinance) and false advertising.
- Home Mortgage Refinance Services: Full text of FTC News Releases, "Colorado Mortgage Broker Barred from Making Deceptive Claims," dated March 28, 2005.
- Home Mortgage Refinance Services: Article adapted from an article appearing in Issue #568 of Advertising Compliance Service at Tab #2, General Articles, Article #512 as part of the "Washington Roundup: A Review of Ad Actions Involving FTC."
- Home Mortgage Company: Lawsuit Against Home Mortgage Company, Residential Refinancing Transaction, Operation Advertised 3.95% 30 Year Mortgages - Articles.
- Home Loans, Mortgage Loans, Refinance: Variety of Online Resources and Links.
- Telemarketer Selling Mortgage Loans, Refinancing and Other Products; "Spam Merchants" Who Allegedly Sent E-Mails Hawking Mortgage Opportunities.
- Mortgage and Refinance Resources: Online Mortgage and Refinance Resources.
The following websites and web pages contain a great deal of information in the equity home loan, refinance and mortgage areas:
- Home Mortgage Refinance Services: Article
- How to Avoid Home Equity Scams
- Are You Shopping for a Mortgage?
- Home Equity Credit Lines
Advertising Law-Related Articles
- "12 Key Advertising-Related Laws You Should Know"
- This article examines 12 key advertising-related laws that you should know about before you review your ads to make sure your ads don't run afoul of these laws.
- "10 Things to Do So Your Ads Comply With Advertising Laws"
- This article discusses 10 key areas you should look at when you're reviewing your advertising to determine whether it's in compliance with advertising law's many requirements.
- "10 Tactics to Use So Your Ads Comply with Advertising Laws"
- This article presents 10 tactics you could use to help your ads comply with the many laws, rules, regulations and guidelines that may affect your advertisements.
- "10 Major Advertising Law-Related Concepts"
- This article is a useful review of 10 key areas you should look at when you're reviewing your advertising to determine whether it's in compliance with the numerous laws, rules, regulations and guidelines that may affect your ads.