Colorado officials are apparently investigating whether advertisements in Denver-based newspapers offering low interest rates on mortgage loans were a bait-and-switch tactic.

The Colorado attorney general’s office subpoenaed the Denver Newspaper Agency, publisher of the Rocky Mountain News and Denver Post, for records on Dec. 15, the News reported today.

Although state Attorney General John Suthers said last year he would investigate mortgage lenders offering low rates in newspapers, officials offered little information about their reasons for seeking records from the newspapers, the News said.

The subpoena requested information on companies affiliated with Leo Shifrin, Mark Shifrin and Jerry Johnson, including CBA Inc., Consumer Mortgage Group Inc., Jupiter Lending, Mortgage Planning and Lending Specialist Ltd., Mile High Mortgage, Mortgage Processing Group Inc., Shifrin Inc., Wholesale Mortgage Lending LLC, Vision Title Agency of Colorado Inc. and VTA of Mile High.

Johnson and Leo Shifrin told the News they have done nothing wrong and said they understand that the attorney general’s office is seeking information on all mortgage lenders who advertised in the papers.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office told the News that there are about 15 investigations of mortgage lenders underway, and that the attorney general’s office can only issue a subpoena if it believes it has uncovered deceptive trade practices.

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