OFIS Warns Mortgage Lenders - Stop False Advertising

Contact: OFIS (Toll-free) 1-877-999-6442

December 9, 2003


Office of Financial and Insurance Services (OFIS) Commissioner Linda A. Watters issued a letter warning those that fall under the Mortgage Brokers, Lenders, and Services Licensing Act, the Consumer Financial Services Act, and the Secondary Mortgage Loan Act to stop any misleading or deceptive advertising or face penalties up to, and including criminal prosecution.


Companies have distributed solicitations that use names of mortgage lenders in such a way that consumers believe it was sent to them by their lender leading consumers to also believe, based on these solicitations, that their private financial information has been shared with another entity. 


“OFIS will aggressively pursue violators of these statutes and seek the harshest penalties allowed by law, up to, and including, administrative orders prohibiting any violator from being employed by, an agent of, or control person of a licensee or registrant under this act or a licensee or registrant under a financial licensing act and prosecution under a criminal act, as appropriate,” wrote Watters.


“OFIS does not object to truthful advertisements that are neither deceptive nor misleading.  Competition is an essential and encouraged element of Michigan’s mortgage loan business.  However, deceptive or misleading advertising will not be tolerated,” the letter concluded.


(A copy of the letter can be viewed on line: www.michigan.gov/documents/cis_ofis_adv_letter_80181_7.pdf)