Quicken Loans Settles With Washington State Over Accusations Of Deceptive Advertising To Military Personnel And Veterans
Quicken Loans settles embarrassing accusations of deceiving active military personnel and veterans. The Consumer Services Division of the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) accused the lender of misleading military personnel. Quicken Loans has agreed to continued oversight of its advertising policies and testing systems. Quicken Loans also agreed to contribute $250,000 toward state-funded financial education programs.
DFI Consumer Services Director Charles Clark told the media:
When asked about how the $250,000 contribution will be spent, Director Clark said:
DFI claimed that in 2014 Quicken Loans targeted Washington service members and veterans with deceptive mortgage offers. The agency also alleged that Quicken Loans sent more than 60 different direct mailings to active military personnel and veterans. In addition the offers guaranteed them VA-guaranteed mortgage loans.
DFI claims Quicken Loans also used graphics purposely designed to look like the letter was mailed by the VA. Quicken Loans purposely deceived military personnel by using the phrase:
GOVERNED BY: UNITED STATES VETERANS DEPARTMENT
Quicken Loans also used an official-looking emblem. The emblem identified by Quicken Loans as the “VA Distressed Red Eagle Stamp.” This emblem showed an eagle surrounded by a circle of stars.
Clark also accused Quicken Loans of violating their own policies and procedures in preventing such deceptive advertising:
State and federal law has prohibited the use of official looking seals and emblems in mortgage advertising for years. While Quicken Loans has policies and procedures designed to prevent advertising violations, they failed to follow those policies.