Government cracks down on mortgage advertising

November 20, 2012 09:00AM

The U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Federal Trade Commission are cracking down on misleading mortgage ads, such as those that impersonate the federal government, or those in which large cash sums are promised, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Federal agencies have noted that companies have added logos similar to those of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and have even added phrases like “government loan department,” to their company’s return address, the Journal reported. Now, government agencies are telling companies to revise their ads, though it is unclear what types of penalties the companies might face if they fail to do so.

The agencies have sent letters to companies with ads they felt were misleading, the Journal said.

Representatives for the CFPB also advised consumers to be wary of ads that imply government involvement.

“Although government agencies do guarantee some loans, they are not involved in the actual lending or advertising of loans,” the representatives wrote in a blog post for the agency about the new investigations. “You know the old saying: ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.’” [WSJ] –Guelda Voien