Lenders know that any advertising done via social media outlets must comply with applicable related federal and state law.
Such laws do not now contain any exceptions for the use of social media.
These include, but are not be limited to:
- Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA/Reg. B)
- Fair Housing Act
- Truth in Lending (TILA/Reg. Z)
- Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA/Sec 8)
- Fair Debt Collection Practices
- Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts or Principles (Section 5 of the FTC Act)
If you’re going to play in the social media arena you better be very familiar with these laws and their rules and ensure compliance in every detail.
Advertising and activity on any social media outlet must be done the same as it is for radio, print, and/or TV advertising. Don’t skirt the rules.
Social media is considered to be a form of interactive online communication in which lenders may generate and share information through text, images, audio, and/or video.
As social media may be used in a variety of ways for communicating information to consumers, lenders need specific policies and procedures governing its use and content.
A mortgage lender needs a risk management program that provides for the identification, measurement, monitoring and controlling of the risks related to social media communications.
It may seem simple. Just do on social media what you’ve been doing for years in all other advertising and consumer communications, right? Maybe, but not so fast.
Who in your organization monitors social media activity and content? Maybe someone/department may do it for company controlled sites and activity. But, what about media sites/portals, like Facebook or LinkedIn, controlled by individual employees? Think LO.
Regardless of where it gets posted, is all information posted about company products and services monitored for compliance? Do you monitor other online sites for any derogatory information posted about your company?
As this is a new arena, your social media risk management program should be designed with participation from specialists in compliance, technology, information security, legal, human resources, and marketing.
The increased use of social media presents many opportunities for lenders. However, with these opportunities comes just as many challenges. Do you fully understand all the rules governing the use of social media in your operations?
Are you prepared to be a Social (Media) butterfly?