The Texas attorney general has launched an investigation into the California-based Home Title Lock over alleged deceptive marketing practices.
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said his office is investigating Home Title Lock for “potentially violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act by misleading consumers with statements concerning the prevalence of home title theft and the need for Home Title Lock’s services,” according to a January 24 press release announcing the probe.
“I won’t tolerate false, misleading, or deceptive advertisements targeted to any Texas consumers—especially Texas seniors,” Paxton said in the press release. “If Home Title Lock is misrepresenting its services or the need for its services, I will put a stop to its unlawful behavior.”
As part of the official probe, Paxton issued a Civil Investigative Demand (CID) to Home Title Lock to determine whether the company’s claims and advertisements were false, misleading, or deceptive, according to the press release.
According to USC 3733, a state attorney general can issue a CID when he “has reason to believe that any person may be in possession, custody, or control of any documentary material or information relevant to a false claims law investigation.”
After issuing a CID, the attorney general — prior to commencing a civil proceeding — can require the person or entity to:
- “Produce such documentary material for inspection and copying
- Answer written interrogatories with respect to such documentary material or information
- Give oral testimony concerning such documentary material or information
- Furnish any combination of such material, answers, or testimony”
The AG’s press release claimed that the company “has received scrutiny in recent months over questionable claims in its advertisements,” including its assertion that the FBI calls home title theft “one of the fastest growing white-collar cyber-crimes in America.”
The FBI could not verify that claim, ABC News reported.
Paxton’s office ordered Home Title Lock to hand over 27 categories of documents relating to the frequency of home title thefts, including information “substantiating” how it describes its services, how it characterizes FBI reports, and how it characterizes internal correspondence such as emails, ABC News reported.
In response to the CID, a spokesperson for Home Title Lock told ABC News, “We have responded to the Texas attorney general’s office in the matter, and provided all requested information. We are confident that the Texas attorney general will be satisfied with what is presented and remain focused on protecting homeowners against title fraud.”
I always doubted the claims in their commercials. It’s a fear tactic with questionable facts