CFPB Announces Settlement Actions Regarding Mortgage Companies’ Deceptive Advertising

The bureau found the advertisements either contained false, misleading, and inaccurate statements or failed to include required disclosures.

Hand holding the word "compliance."9/8/2020

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau announced a series of settlement actions with seven different mortgage companies for deceptive loan advertisements that were sent to servicemembers and veterans.

The CFPB investigated several mortgage companies in response to concerns about potentially unlawful advertising in the market that the Veterans Administration (VA) had identified. In the CFPB statement, the Bureau stated, “This ongoing sweep of investigations reflects the Bureau’s commitment to enforcing the laws that ensure the financial marketplace is fair and accurate for all consumers, including servicemembers, veterans, and surviving spouses whom VA-guaranteed mortgages are designed to benefit.”

In many of the investigations, the CFPB found that the mortgage companies’ advertisements contained false, misleading, and inaccurate statements or that failed to include required disclosures.

Question of the Week

Q. Does it matter where the “Equal Housing Lender” notice is placed in our lobby?

A. There is no requirement that specifically states where the Equal Housing Lender notice must be placed. However, the ruledoes state thatthe sign must be in a “conspicuous” position in a central location within the bank where deposits are received orwhere such loans are made in a manner clearly visible to the general public entering the area where the poster is displayed. Similarly, state-chartered credit unions must place the Equal Housing Opportunity notice.

Resources

12 CFR 701.31
24 CFR 110.25

Legal Briefs

National Credit Union Administration

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Federal and State Financial Regulatory Agencies Issue Interagency Statement on Supervisory Practices Regarding Financial Institutions Affected by Hurricane Laura and California Wildfires
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NCUA Releases Q2 2020 Credit Union System Performance Data
The NCUA announced that the data on the financial performance of federally insured credit unions for the quarter ending June 30 is now available.

Financial Crimes Enforcement Network 

Statement by FinCEN Regarding Unlawfully Disclosed Suspicious Activity Reports
FinCEN has issued a statement about various media outlets that intend to publish a series of articles based on unlawfully disclosed Suspicious Activity Reports. Unauthorized disclosure of SARs is a crime that can impact national security of the United States, compromise law enforcement investigations, and threaten the safety and security of institutions.

Office of Foreign Assets Control

OFAC has updated the SDN list as of Sept. 4. The last update prior to this was Aug. 25.

Questions? Contact the Compliance Hotline: 1.800.546.4465, [email protected].