Company to pay $7.5 million in telemarketing case
The FTC is sending a clear message that it means business with the Do Not Call registry. The record penalty will be paid by a mortgage broker that targeted military families.
The Federal Trade Commission, which is in charge of enforcing the Do Not Call law, announced the settlement of several cases against "Cardholder Services" perpetrators as well as a record fine of $7.5 million against a company that tried to sell mortgages to veterans. The announcements of the actions coincided with the 10th anniversary of the national Do Not Call list.
"Since the advent of Do Not Call, the FTC has been aggressive in cracking down on violators and preventing annoying, illegal calls to consumers," said FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez. "Today’s settlements leave no doubt that DNC enforcement remains a top priority."
About 221 million people are signed up on the Do Not Call Registry.
The FTC accused Mortgage Investors Corp. of calling people who were on the Do Not Call registry, not removing those who asked to be removed from their marketing call list, and providing misleading information to those it called. The company is now facing the largest ever fine assessed by the FTC for Do Not Call violations.
Mortgage Investors Corp. is accused of calling more than 5.4 million numbers that were on the Do Not Call Registry in an attempt to try to get current and former service members to refinance their homes.
Callers were led to believe that they would get low-interest loans with fixed interest rates with no added costs, the FTC alleged. However, the rates were escalating and the consumer would have to pay the closing costs. And, the FTC said, Mortgage Investors' telemarketers provided inaccurate information about the company's relationship with the Department of Veterans Affairs.The company agreed to settle the charges by paying the fine and to stop:
- Refusing to honor Do Not Call requests.
- Calling those already on the Do Not Call list.
- Misleading consumers about mortgage terms.
- Misrepresenting its relationships with government agencies.
Once your number is on the Do Not Call list it remains there. There is no expiration.
If you get a call that you believe is in violation of the Do Not Call law, you can file a complaint on the Do Not Call site.
However, for those calls, you may tell the telemarketer you want to stop receiving those calls and they must honor that request. The FTC recommends you document the date of the request.
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