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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

FTC and SBA warn companies about misleading SBA loan marketing

Federal Issues Covid-19 FTC FTC Act SBA Deceptive Small Business Lending UDAP

Federal Issues

On June 24, the FTC and the Small Business Administration (SBA) sent warning letters to six companies that they may be misleading small businesses seeking SBA loans due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The press release highlights specific claims from each company that the letters assert “could lead consumers to believe the companies are affiliated with the SBA,” or that consumers could use their websites to apply for loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) or other programs authorized by the CARES Act. These cited claims include, among others, (i) offering “'COVID-19 SBA Loan Programs”; (ii) offering “SBA Lending experts” and “SBA Loan Officers”; and (iii) stating “Get matched with a PPP lender now!” The letters warn the recipients to remove all deceptive claims and advertisements and remediate any harm to small business consumers that may have been caused. The letters further instruct the companies to notify the FTC within 48 hours of the actions they take in response. Copies of all six warning letters are available via links in the press release.

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