Admin


About Admin

Our team has extensive experience in reviewing mortgage advertisements and advising clients about mortgage compliance issues including use of Compliance Management Systems, State and Federal compliance matters, and running the Legal and Compliance departments of major mortgage banking entities. Our company has Advertising Quick Hits learning Guides available as well as a self-study six week E-Course that will help your team member, or you, become more skilled at becoming an Advertising Compliance Officer for your company.


Trademarks of Other Companies – What to do when referencing Trademarks of Other Companies in your ads

We all understand that there are special rules when referencing another companies trademark.  But does that mean you cannot make a reference to another company’s mark in your advertising material?  There’s other rules that come up here under fair competition rules etc. but we will focus our answer here on what’s the proper way to reference the other company’s trademark or service mark.

The best answer is to find some element of permission in the use of the other company’s mark. For example, if we want to reference Apple’s app store or the Apple iPhone, we should do a quick google search like ‘apple use of trademark guidelines”.   When you do that search, you will find Apple’s webpage entitled Guidelines for Using Apple Trademarks and Copyrights.  You will find a lot of rules of what Apple expects of you when using their marks.  Also, you will see these rules about giving proper “attribution” to Apple for the Apple marks.

Proper Trademark Notice and Attribution

1. Distribution Within the United States Only

a. On product, product documentation, or other product communications that will be distributed only in the United States, use the appropriate trademark symbol (TM, SM, ®) the first time the Apple trademark appears in the text of the advertisement, brochure, or other material.

b. Refer to the Apple Trademark List for the correct trademark symbol, spelling of the trademark, and generic term to use with the trademark. Generally, the symbol appears at the right shoulder of the trademark (except the Apple Logo, where the logo appears at the right foot).

c. Include an attribution of Apple’s ownership of its trademarks within the credit notice section of your product, product documentation, or other product communication.

Following are the correct formats:

_________ and _______ are registered trademarks of Apple Inc.

_________ and _______ are trademarks of Apple Inc.

 

Keep in mind in the mortgage business that these rules apply to references to Fannie Mae products for example.  So if you want to mention a Fannie Mae product that has been trademarked by Fannie Mae, you will have to use the following attribution to Fannie:

HomePath® is a registered trademark of Fannie Mae.

 

Note that if you are using logos for any Fannie Mae products you will need to get advance permission from Fannie Mae to use such logo in your advertisements.

Keep these rules in mind next time you are referencing another company’s trademarks and intellectual property.

 


Model ARM Disclosure – Adjustable Rate Mortgage Ad

So you want to place an add for a 5/1 ARM on a flyer, a mailer, a banner ad, a Facebook post? What needs to be in that ad? Lets assume you have some triggering terms like a payment amount or an interest rate so you will need to make all applicable disclosures.ARM Rates

Here’s the list of what must be your ad:
1) The APR (annual percentage rate). This should be listed right next to the statement of the interest rate – in same size font and same font color etc. It must be clear and conspicuous.
2) Make sure its clear that your ad in an adjustable rate mortgage loan (ARM) product and do not hide this fact.
3) State the effective date of the interest rate you have displayed.
4) Include a statement that the rates are subject to change.
5) State the payment amount during the initial five year period.
6) And here’s the tricky part – state that remaining terms of the repayment. This requires you to tell the borrower how the payment will change after the five years are up.

Need more info, check out the Advertising Disclosure Samples at our main site: www.advertiseyourloans.com


Sidewalk Sale on Mortgages?

Mortgage Ads on the Sidewalk? I was walking through a business area to get coffee while my car was getting some work done at a repair shop when I came across this mortgage ad. I noticed no licensing information, no company name, in fact no name at all, just a phone number. Does this person need a license to lend his or her own money? I’m pretty sure they do though although there may still be an exception from licensing if you only make a couple of loans per year or you are carrying back financing as the seller of a property. So I guess it all comes down to how effective this sidewalk advertising really is and how much business (if any) this entrepreneur is getting,
By the way, I’m convinced that the ad is a sidewalk ad like those ones you see in supermarket aisles that are affixed to the floor. I don’t think that this ad fell off a sign post and landed there on the sidewalk. Could this be the new wave of the future or is this just “littering? Only time will tell.


Watch out for increase in state investigative complaints about mortgage loan advertising

State regulators are on the prowl right now and are super interested in reviewing your mortgage advertising that’s mailed to their homes.  It’s not that they are enticed by your low rate offers or your novel adjustable rate loan programs. Instead, they are awaiting your mailer because they want to find TILA and Regulation Z and MAP Act errors, missing or improper disclosures and anything in your ad that they can conclude constitutes an unfair or deceptive or abusive act or practice.

Here’s what you might see when you get an investigative demand about your advertising. They will ask you a bunch of questions.about how many versions of the ad did you send out? How many people responded to the advertisement?  Who reviewed the advertisement for compliance with all the rules before it went out?

If your ad makes certain statements that need to be verified as being accurate, the regulator will ask you to do that and provide evidence of how you substantiated each of your claims in the ad.

Lastly, the regulator will ask you to verify and explain and provide all documents that you used to verify that the rates and payments you included in your advertisement are accurate.

It’s good to know what to expect from your regulators before you send out new ads in the future..  Make sure you know all of the rules in your state and the disclosures required by law and that you are having your ads reviewed by an attorney or experienced compliance officer before you send them out.