Colorado Attorney General John Suthers announced today that his office has filed a lawsuit against Assurity Financial Services, one of the company’s managing members, Calvin B. Hamler (DOB: 6/20/1973), and the company’s former managing member, Troy P. Hamler (DOB: 4/24/1972). The defendants are suspected of violating the Colorado Consumer Protection Act by using deceptive advertisements that claimed, among other things, a false affiliation with the U.S. Veterans Administration, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the homeowners’ lenders.
According to the complaint, filed in Denver District Court, some of the company’s mailers solicited consumers in several states, including Colorado, to apply for refunds of their mortgage insurance premiums, escrow accounts, and VA escrow accounts and funding fees. The mailers the defendants circulated appeared to be from the federal government and even included a Washington, D.C., return address. These representations allegedly misled consumers into believing that Assurity Financial Services had the authority to secure refunds for consumers. The mailings also appeared to be official notices, which they were not. The complaint also alleges that other mailers appeared to come from the homeowners’ lenders.
The defendants also are suspected of sending homeowners postcards claiming that they could “reclassify” their home loans into a more favorable loan. The mailers did not disclose that, in fact, the defendants were asking homeowners to refinance their homes through the company.
According to the complaint, Assurity Financial Services’ mailings gave consumers the false impression of urgency and a need to act quickly. In some cases, the company’s mailings also allegedly informed homeowners they were in default when they were not.
Assurity Financial Services had entered into a legally binding agreement with Colorado and Florida in July 2009 where the company agreed to halt its deceptive direct mailings and pay the states $200,000 in six payments. Assurity Financial Services did not make its scheduled payment on July 1, 2010.
The Florida Attorney General also has sued Assurity Financial Services and the Hamlers. The states of Arizona, Washington and Idaho had previously entered into agreements with Assurity Financial Services and the Hamlers concerning the deceptive content of similar mailings to consumers in their states.
Consumers who believe they have received a misleading or deceptive solicitation from a private company are encouraged to file a complaint via www.coloradoattorneygeneral.gov/complaint. Consumers also can file complaints via 1-800-222-4444.
Here is a copy of the suit.