Wis. AG follows up on more than 60 complaints

Bryan Cohen Mar. 29, 2011, 1:39am

Van Hollen

MADSION, Wis. (Legal Newsline) - Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen filed a lawsuit on Monday against First American Funding Company LLC of Columbus, Wis., for violations of the state's Direct Marketing and No-Call laws.

More than 60 complaints were filed with the Department of Trade, Agriculture and Consumer Protection regarding the telemarketing practices of the First American Funding Company. It is alleged that the company made hundreds of thousands of calls to residents of Wisconsin registered on the state's No-Call list in 2010.

"This company used extremely misleading language in their telemarketing practices," Van Hollen said. "They sometimes even used language that implied they were calling on behalf of the consumer's home mortgage.

"When consumers called back, concerned there was a problem with their loan, they were surprised and frustrated to learn it was, in fact, a sales pitch. Such practices, along with the high volume of calls warranted this action."

The lawsuit, which lists Michael S. Eisenga as the company's owner and operator, was filed with a Dane County Circuit Court. The suit alleges that the defendant engaged in deceptive and misleading practices, called residents registered on the state's No-Call list, and engaged in prohibited telemarketing practices by repeatedly causing residents' phone lines to ring and calling residents who previously had asked the company to stop making calls.

In addition, the suit that alleges First American Funding made calls from as many as six unregistered phone lines. The law requires phone lines to be registered with the state.

The suit seeks $100 for each No-Call violation and civil forfeitures ranging from $100 to $10,000 for each Direct Marketing violation. Van Hollen is also seeking to recover the costs of prosecution and investigation.

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