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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.

Some Ads just don’t meet the required disclosures?

As a compliance attorney I take special note of advertisements I see in my day’s activities. I see some very thorough stuff and then some not so thorough advertisements. Sometimes there’s a total disregard of requirements. But will there be any push back on a bad ad? Will a regulator be informed of the non-compliance and deception of certain ads? (Not often).

This ad was shared with me by one of our readers. Fun times. Can you spot the various missing disclosures? (Hint – there are none, just call this number to get a loan?) My advice – don’t call these guys, why would you?


Marketing with Realtors

Co-Marketing With Real Estate Agents

If you are a loan officer that works with Real Estate Agents to help their clients obtain mortgage financing to purchase homes in your area, you likely have done some co-marketing with real estate agents.

The main example of co-marketing we see are flyers that market both the real estate agent and the loan officer / mortgage lender that offers to assist home buyers with their financing needs.

We also see Financing Available ads built into an Open House Flyer for a home with sample loan scenarios offered in the flyer.

So what rules do we need to be concerned with here? Rather than discuss all the rules, lets discuss the relevant questions that I would ask:

  1. How is this particular piece being distributed to consumers. Will it be a “take one” flyer available in a real estate office or open house? Or will this piece be emailed to consumers or posted to social media?
  2. Has all required NMLS licensing disclosures (for both the individual loan officer and his employing and state required advertising disclosures been added to the piece?
  3. Does the real estate agent list any required licensing disclosures next to the real estate agents name and the Real Estate Company’s name.
  4. Who is paying for the various costs involved with preparing, printing and distributing the flyer or other marketing piece to consumers? Is the cost shared in some way between the real estate agent and the loan officer/lender?

These questions should help in your analysis of the co-marketing piece you are considering doing with the real estate agent. Think about what rules are triggered here when you reviewing your co-marketing piece so you can be sure to address these rules and any apparent regulatory risk present in the co-marketing pieces on which you are working.


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