The FTC has recently reached an agreement with Online advertising agency Intermundo Media, LLC (AKA IMM.com aka Delta Prime Refinance) for running deceptive fines attempting to generate mortgage refinancing leads. According to the settlement, the company ran ads that claimed they were able to provide free refinancing. The ads ran on Google, Microsoft, AOL, Yahoo as well as their own websites.
In addition to making the false claims related to the services they were providing, the company also did not include some of the disclosure information that is required under the Truth in Lending Act.
Jessica Rich, Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection said the following of this case, “An ad that says you can refinance your mortgage for free is clearly deceptive if you have to pay money at some point before you sign on the dotted line. Lead generators need to understand that federal laws governing truth in advertising apply to them as well as everybody else.”
In addition to the $500,000 fines, the FTC has prohibited the company from using the data that they collected from these ads. This means they can’t disclose, sell or transfer the data that they had collected. This is, of course, a very important part of the settlement because of the fact that quality mortgage leads can be extremely valuable.
It is not yet clear whether or not Intermundo Media, LLC will continue operating as a mortgage refinancing lead generation business, or what their future looks like at this point.