Why Florida property consultant, Bear Property, is getting sued
FLORIDA — In a lawsuit filed in federal court in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, an insurance company is accusing Florida-based Bear Property of violating the federal Consumer Protection Act by failing to provide it with required disclosures of its business and other information required by the law.
The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Orlando by the Federal Trade Commission, alleges that Bear Property failed to make timely and accurate disclosures in its policies, training materials, and on its website.
The commission alleges that, because Bear Property’s website and online platform are not designed for use by consumers, it is not an “agency of a consumer protection agency.”
In addition, Bear is alleged to have failed to comply with the law by failing, over time, to report false or misleading statements in its information provided to consumers.
In a statement, Bear said it has “fully cooperated with the FTC” and is “working to correct its practices and improve its disclosures.”
The lawsuit, which was filed in the Southern District of Florida, alleges “failure to disclose and/or misstatements of fact” about Bear Property and its business practices “is pervasive in the industry.”
“Bear Property failed in this case to provide the information required under the consumer protection act,” the complaint states.
The company said in a statement that the lawsuit is without merit.
“Bear is not a ‘federal agency’ under the Consumer Protection act and its policies and practices are fully compliant with applicable federal and state laws and regulations,” it said.
“In addition, the company is working to correct the alleged misrepresentations in its online and online platforms, as well as its website.”
The complaint says the Florida attorney general’s office has opened a civil rights investigation into the alleged fraud.
“As an agency of the Florida Attorney General, Bear seeks to defend against these allegations,” the company said.
In July, Bear and its partner, Florida Equities, agreed to pay $1 million in fines and settle a lawsuit with the federal government over the false claims about its creditworthiness and other matters.
The agreement was reached in response to the Department of Justice’s investigation into Bear’s practices, which the Justice Department says uncovered the company’s false claims that it could be “accidentally” foreclosed on.
“We expect Bear to fully cooperate with the government’s investigation and to fully disclose all of its information to the public,” the statement from the company says.
“The company believes it has the ability to fully resolve the complaint in this matter, and that the allegations in the complaint are without merit.”
The FTC says Bear has failed to report all of the statements and information required in the law and is likely to fail to comply further.
The agency is looking into whether Bear’s online platform is designed for consumers to learn about and evaluate the business and risks of the company, and whether the company has taken steps to improve its information sharing.
The Florida Attorney Generals Office did not immediately respond to a request for comment.