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CFPB fines mortgage lender $250K for claiming government affiliation in ads

Bureau Orders RMK Financial to Pay $250,000 for Deceiving Borrowers with Claims of Government Affiliation WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) took action against RMK Financial Corporation for deceptive mortgage advertising practices, including ads that led consumers to believe that the company was affiliated with the U.S. government.

The annual percentage rate is a critical factor in comparing mortgage offers from different lenders; sometimes the APR is hidden in the fine print or buried deep in a website. Important payment information is often excluded from an ad; consumers should be prepared to ask about payments, terms, escrow, penalties, etc.

CFPB said RMK’s practices violated the Truth in Lending Act, the Mortgage Acts and Practices Advertising Rule and other federal consumer laws. Under CFPB’s consent order, RMK will not be allowed to falsely claim a government affiliation in future advertisements and will pay a fine of $250,000.

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 · The second action had to do with three mortgage companies who were hit for ads that misrepresented the relationship between the lender and the government. One of the lenders sent out more than one million direct mail pieces claiming to be a HUD-approved lender, when they were not, or they sent out a letter referencing HUD No. 12-045 and instructing the recipient to call an “assigned.

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 · There were few laws broken. There was an over investment and lax adherence to lending standards, most pointedly in mortgage lending. People and companies were way over invested in real estate values. It was common to get a no money down mortgage so when property values dropped, the home was worth less than the mortgage.

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