Today marks the 10th anniversary of the opening of the National Do Not Call Registry. What a fitting day for the FTC’s announcement of the biggest civil penalty ever collected in a Do Not Call case.
Mortgage Investors Corporation has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle charges that its telemarketers called more than 5.4 million current and former U.S. service members whose phone numbers were on the Do Not Call Registry.
According to the FTC, the telemarketers pretended to be affiliated with the Department of Veterans Affairs, pitched low-interest, fixed-rate mortgages at no cost, or quoted savings that would last the duration of the loan. Turns out Mortgage Investors offered only adjustable-rate mortgages —with closing costs, resulting in payments that would go up as interest rates increase.
The FTC’s settlement with Mortgage Investors marks the 105th Do Not Call case since enforcement began. During the last 10 years, enforcement has been a priority: DNC cases have resulted in court orders for $118 million in civil penalties and $737 million in refunds and other recovered money. Want more DNC history? Check out the new infographic that maps the highlights.