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Transparency Needed for Improvement


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CFPB Not Releasing Ad Data at Core of Recently Released Study

reverse mortgage newsAfter releasing a consumer advisory and the results of focus group findings of reverse mortgage ads that were deemed misleading, ambiguous or difficult to understand to consumers and the media alike, the Bureau is less than forthright in releasing the data. After the release of the report numerous media outlets jumped on yet another negative reverse mortgage study. After all shouldn’t one trust a federal agency such as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau? Yes, if that agency is fair and transparent in its findings.

Unfortunately that does not appear to be the case. In a press call last week industry representatives asked if the Bureau would make the ads used in the study available. The terse reply: they will not. Strange since the Bureau says they are committed to getting input from all parties to make markets more accessible and efficient for consumers. If that is the case then release the ads shown to the focus groups…

Download a transcript of this episode here.

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  1. Bold and hard-hitting. Good for you!

  2. There is little question that ads with one liners like “…let the HOME pay you” are deceitfully oversimplified to get the phones ringing as are “you do not pay the lender…’ and that infamous term ” tax-free income.” Then there are ones that say the BORROWER is simply taking equity out of the home.

    But those awful examples of misleading readers and listeners are not the problem when it comes to transparency and the less than insightful report issued by the CFPB. On one hand there is a reason why the CFPB would not have wamted to release the actual ads used but on the other it is hard to correct what the CFPB is stating we are doing wrong without specific examples.

    It seems the CFPB is giving us a warning and there is sufficient information to figure out what several of the ads were with absolutely no help from the CFPB.

    • (Error in early posting —–continuing comment above)

      The CFPB would not want to release the specific ads if it believes that lenders will limit the scope of their compliance to the somewhat limited sample of ads used in its group study. The CFPB is less concerned about a handful of ads than seeing lender compliance addressing the larger issue of avoiding misleading advertising altogether.

      Yet lenders need to have a starting point and a sense it can seek advice from its regulator about future ads and those which exist but were not icluded in the sample. The CFPB would be much wiser to work with NRMLA if its goal is to help us clean up our act and avoid the very misleading ads our industry has produced to date.

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