Industry News

Mortgage cos. accused of consumer privacy violations

FTC alleges cos. failed to safeguard customer names, social security numbers

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The Federal Trade Commission has charged two mortgage companies with violating the agency's Gramm-Leach-Bliley (GLB) Safeguards Rule by not having reasonable protections for customers' sensitive personal and financial information. The FTC filed an administrative action against Nationwide Mortgage Group Inc. (Nationwide) and its president John D. Eubank, alleging that the Fairfax, Va.-based mortgage broker failed to implement safeguards to protect its customers' names, social security numbers, credit histories, bank account numbers, income tax returns, and other sensitive financial information. Clearwater, Fla.-based Sunbelt Lending Services, a subsidiary of Cendant Mortgage Corp., has agreed to settle similar charges, according to the FTC. Chris Cope, president of Sunbelt Lending Services, said the FTC complaint stems primarily from a seldom-accessed lead generation program that was formerly available through the company's Web site, but not addressed by the company prior to the Ma...