The FTC has settled claims arising from a mortgage broker's disclosure of customers' nonpublic personal information in its responses to negative consumer reviews.
On January 9, 2020, the FTC announced a settlement with mortgage broker Mortgage Solutions FCS, Inc. and its owner, Ramon Walker, resolving allegations over their unlawful disclosure of customers' personal information on the internet.
The FTC's complaint alleged that Mortgage Solutions' and Walker's responses to negative online reviews on the consumer review website Yelp.com contained personal information about the customers who posted the reviews, including their income sources, credit histories, family relationships, health, and first and last names. The FTC alleged that Mortgage Solutions and Walker violated:
The Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA) (15 U.S.C. §§ 1681 to 1681x) by publicly disclosing information obtained through customer credit reports without a legitimate or permissible purpose.