Fees for accessing the National Do Not Call Registry are going up Oct. 1, although the Federal Trade Commission will continue to provide access to the first five area codes requested by real estate agents and others conducting telemarketing for free. For each additional area code, telemarketers will pay $59, up to a maximum of $16,228 for all area codes nationwide.

According to Inman News columnist Bernice Ross, real estate agents can generate significant business by cold calling potential clients. Telephone numbers used in cold-calling campaigns should be checked against the National Do Not Call Registry.

Telemarketers and companies that sell phone numbers are required to search the registry at least once every 31 days and drop consumers who have registered from their call lists.

In June, the FTC  announced a $7.5 million settlement with a mortgage broker that it accused of calling more than 5.4 million phone numbers listed on the National Do Not Call Registry.

The settlement with Mortgage Investors Corp. was the first action brought by the FTC to enforce the Mortgage Acts and Practices advertising rule, which allows the FTC to collect civil penalties for deceptive mortgage ads.

In a coordinated action in November, the FTC and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau sent warning letters to more than 30 companies, including real estate agents and homebuilders, warning them that their mortgage advertising on websites, Facebook and in newspapers and direct mailers may be deceptive. Source: ftc.gov.

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