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FL Attacking Do Not Call Violators

FL Attacking Do Not Call ViolatorsLawsuit filed against Global Mortgage Funding

July 17, 2006

WASHINGTON correspondent for

A California-based mortgage broker is facing a Florida lawsuit for allegedly violating the state’s “Do Not Call” law.Florida’s Agriculture and Consumer Services Commissioner filed a lawsuit last week against Global Mortgage Funding, Inc., of Newport Beach, Calif.

Florida Commissioner Charles H. Bronson alleges the company has made at least eight calls in the last 18 months to Florida residents on the state’s “do not call” list. The suit also claims that the company’s telemarketing calls contained recorded messages, a separate violation of Florida law.

According to the court documents, Global identified itself in the phone calls as “Mortgage Services,” “Funding Affiliates,” or “Inforte Financial.”

The state is seeking an injunction prohibiting the company from making any future calls to residents on the list and fines up to $10,000 for each of the calls it made to the prohibited phone numbers.

Terence McElroy, a spokesman for the Florida department that filed the lawsuit, said the state is very aggressive in enforcing the law, instituted in 1991 and the model for several other similar laws. “We want the word to get out that if someone is on the “do not call” list, call them at your peril,” he said.

McElroy said the department has collected or obtained judgments of more than $1.5 million against companies that have called Florida residents on the list and that several such legal actions are pending in courts throughout the state.

Global had not filed a response as of press time nor had it returned calls for comment.

The Florida action may not be the first time the company has faced regulatory ire for impermissibly contacting consumers.

In 2002, the Federal Trade Commission and Global agreed to an order forbidding the company from “spoofing” potential customers. The FTC alleged in court documents that Global and several other apparently affiliated companies contacted consumers, using e-mail addresses that made e-mail appear to be coming from various well-known financial institutions such as Fannie Mae, in the hope of soliciting consumers for mortgages or mortgage refinancing. The FTC said that the telephone numbers listed in the e-mails were answered, in part, by representatives from “Global Mortgage Funding.”

Although it agreed to the FTC’s order, Global specifically denied the FTC’s allegations.

Lisa D. Burden is a legal analyst for and holds a law degree from the University of Maryland. She is currently a freelance journalist who previously wrote for Institutional Investor publications and the Baltimore Daily Record.

e-mail Lisa at:

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