Industry NewsMortgage

FTC warns lenders, media against running deceptive ads

Warning letters go out to more than 200 firms

Mortgage brokers and lenders -- and the media outlets that carry their ads -- have been put on notice by the Federal Trade Commission that some claims being made about mortgage loans on Web sites, newspapers and unsolicited e-mails may violate federal law. The FTC says it has sent warning letters to more than 200 advertisers and media outlets after a nationwide review in June identified ads that were potentially deceptive or in violation of the Truth In Lending Act. The ads -- some of which were in Spanish -- touted low monthly payments or interest rates as low as 1 percent without adequate disclosure of other terms, the FTC said. Issues flagged by the FTC included ads where the stated rate was a payment rate that applied only during a loan's initial period, and the omission of annual percentage rates (APRs) that give consumers a basis for comparing mortgages. "Some ads promoted only incredibly low monthly payments but failed to disclose adequately the terms of repayme...