OLYMPIA – The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) has joined regulators in 11 other states in entering into a legal agreement with Rocket Mortgage, LLC (formerly Quicken Loans, LLC). The settlement follows a multi-state investigation by DFI into advertising practices deemed to violate federal advertising laws. The regulation requires Rocket Mortgage to pay a fine of $ 500,000 to participating states and sets improved advertising standards going forward. The enhanced advertising standards require Rocket Mortgage to clearly and conspicuously disclose the discount points associated with the advertised interest rate and the dollar cost that consumers must pay to obtain the reduced interest rate. Rocket Mortgage has also agreed to end certain advertising practices relating to variable rate mortgages which, according to participating states, can be false, deceptive and deceptive to consumers. The regulation also requires Rocket Mortgage to update telemarketing scripts used by mortgage originators to remove talking points that participating states believe violate federal law.
WA DFI previously entered into a consent order in 2016 with Rocket Mortgage resolving a statement of charges regarding advertising practices. This new regulation goes further, requiring specific improved advertising standards to be met and includes significant penalties that can be imposed if the standards are not met. Enforcement actions like this should serve as an important reminder to financial service providers that DFI will continue to monitor compliance and take additional enforcement action as necessary to ensure compliance with advertising laws.
“Washington will not tolerate false, misleading or deceptive advertising that harms consumers or fair competition,” said DFI director Charlie Clark. “This regulation also shows how state regulators can work together to hold companies like Rocket Mortgage accountable, to ensure consumers are provided with the information they need to make informed financial decisions and to ensure fair competition in the marketplace.”