U.S. regulators have begun investigating 19 companies whose advertisements for mortgage products may mislead consumers, the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said on Monday.
Regulators also have sent letters to an additional 32 mortgage lenders, brokers, home builders and other companies warning that their ads may violate federal prohibitions against misleading mortgage-related claims.
The agencies did not name the companies involved.
Problematic ads contained official-looking logos that could have made consumers think they came from government agencies, offered "low" rates without explaining loan terms, or misrepresented the amount of cash or credit available.
"Misrepresentations in mortgage products can deprive consumers of important information while making one of the biggest financial decisions of their lives," CFPB Director Richard Cordray said in a statement. "Baiting consumers with false ads to buy into mortgage
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