A Southern California-based mortgage broker has been fined $50,000 by the federal government for making calls to 100,000 people on a national Do Not Call list. The broker blamed the providers of the leads for the misdirected marketing.
Executive Financial Home Loan Corp. will pay the fine under a court order filed Wednesday by the Federal Trade Commission for calling over 100,000 consumers on the National Do Not Call Registry for telemarketers and for failing to pay the annual fee to access the registry, the FTC reported.
The company is permanently barred from violation of the Do Not Call provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, according the announcement.
Executive claimed it relied on service providers for their compliance with DNC rules -- specifically by buying "lead lists" of phone numbers from list brokers such as title companies. But the FTC stated it was not enough for them to rely on the brokers' claims that the lists had been properly "scrubbed" against the registry and that all phone numbers had been removed from it no more than 30 days before calls were placed.
"The bottom line is that telemarketers are responsible for complying with the Do Not Call provisions of the Telemarketing Sales Rule, and cannot hide behind the claims of their service providers," said Lydia B. Parnes, and FTC director, in the announcement. "If a telemarketer purchases a 'scrubbed' list, they better make sure that it is current and squeaky clean or else they may be violating the law and subject to penalties."
The total judgment is over $1.1 million, with all but $50,000 forgiven because of Executive's inability to pay and due within 10 days of the company's receipt of the stipulated order. The total judgment will become due if the "sworn representations in its financial statements" are not accurate, according to the stipulated judgment and order for permanent injunction document.