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Mortgage compensation firm sanctioned over ‘exaggerated’ TV ad claims

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  • 10/07/2019
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Mortgage compensation firm sanctioned over ‘exaggerated’ TV ad claims
A firm which promises to help borrowers pursue mortgage mis-selling claims has been ordered to tone down its advertising, after it was found to have exaggerated the number of people it has helped to pocket significant payouts.

Complaints were made to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), including from a mortgage broker, suggesting that two statements made in the TV ad for Mortgage.Claims were potentially misleading.

In the ad, the firm suggested that it had assessed over 20,000 mortgages, and that people were claiming tens of thousands of pounds in compensation for either having been overcharged or mis-sold.

Mortgage.Claims argued that it was acting in a “generation and investigative capacity” for the claim, rather than being the claim processor. As a result, it would conduct initial vetting on potential claimants, and once they had passed that vetting, they would be transferred over to their law firm to pursue a case.

While the firm was able to demonstrate that it had assessed 24,000 claims in total, the ASA suggested that the phrasing of the advert meant that viewers would believe a significant number of those claimants had received such large payouts.

Though Mortgage.Claims provided documentation to show that a total of nine claimants had received redress of more than £20,000, the ASA declared that it “did not consider that the number of historic cases was sufficient to represent a significant number of claimants, in the context of the ad’s claims”.

As a result, Mortgage.Claims has been instructed that the ad can not be shown again, while it has also been warned that it must not exaggerate the number of claimants who have received significant payouts in future ads.

Rob Cooper, chief executive officer of parent firm ME Group, said it had taken “comprehensive steps” before running the advertising campaign to ensure it was “accurate and correct” and noted it removed the ads as soon as the ASA informed the firm there had been a complaint.

He added: “The ASA’s key point was to contextualise the number of customers who had successfully settled claims, as opposed to having their claim assessed. However, we think it’s important to recognise that of the cases we have assessed as being entitled to compensation, almost all are still in the dispute resolution process. These cases are, therefore, in their early stages, which explains why we have assessed far more cases than have concluded.”

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