Go Direct Lenders, Inc.
On August 21, 2020, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (Bureau) issued a consent order against Go Direct Lenders, Inc. (Go Direct), a California corporation that is licensed as a mortgage broker or lender in about 11 states. Go Direct offers and provides mortgage loans guaranteed by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Go Direct’s principal means of advertising VA-guaranteed loans is through direct-mail campaigns sent primarily to United States military servicemembers and veterans. The Bureau found that Go Direct sent consumers hundreds of thousands of mailers for VA-guaranteed mortgages that contained false, misleading, and inaccurate statements or that lacked required disclosures, in violation of the Consumer Financial Protection Act’s (CFPA) prohibition against deceptive acts and practices, the Mortgage Acts and Practices – Advertising Rule (MAP Rule), and Regulation Z. Specifically, Go Direct sent consumers numerous advertisements for VA-guaranteed mortgages that, among other things, misrepresented the credit terms of the advertised mortgage, misleadingly described an adjustable-rate mortgage as having a “fixed” rate, falsely stated that an appraisal, assets, and income documentation were not required to qualify for certain loans and that consumers with FICO scores as low as 500 would qualify for the advertised rates, created the false impression that Go Direct was affiliated with the government, falsely represented that it had records showing that the value of the consumer’s property had increased by a specific percentage, and failed to include disclosures required by Regulation Z. The consent order requires Go Direct to pay a $150,000 civil money penalty and imposes requirements to prevent future violations.
This action stems from a Bureau sweep of investigations of multiple mortgage companies that use deceptive mailers to advertise VA-guaranteed mortgages.