The Federal Trade Commission has charged a California mortgage brokerage that advertised extremely low mortgage rates with violating federal laws.

The FTC’s complaint against Chase Financial Funding Inc. and its principals alleges that the company duped consumers with such promises as a “3.5 percent fixed payment 30 year loan” and “3.5 percent fixed payment” loan. According to the FTC, Chase Financial Funding did not offer any such loan. The loan the company advertised is actually an adjustable-rate mortgage, where the principal balance would increase if consumers made payments at the advertised rates, the FTC alleges.

The FTC also alleges that the company on numerous occasions had consumers sign applications for loans that were not actually offered or available. According to the FTC, the company also provided consumers with disclosure statements that allegedly misrepresented the annual percentage rate and the payment schedule for the loan. Additionally, the FTC alleges Chase Financial Funding misled consumers during the course of refinancing, including regarding prepayment penalties and fees associated with refinancing for a second time through the company.

The FTC’s complaint alleges the company violated the FTC Act as well as the advertising requirements of the Truth-in-Lending Act.

The FTC files a complaint when it has “reason to believe” that the law has been or is being violated, and it appears to the commission that a proceeding is in the public interest. The complaint is not a finding or ruling that the defendant has actually violated the law. A court will decide the case.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to samantha@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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