By: Patrick J. Paul
The Arizona Attorney General recently reached an agreement with Utah-based real estate company Homie which made a splash in the Phoenix market during the fall election with candidate-type signage posted throughout the community urging a “Vote for Homie” as significant change and assured that such change would be “coming to your pocket.” The problem? Confusion to the voter, improper collection of personal data.
Homie first entered the Phoenix market in January 2018 with a softer digitally-based advertising splash. Homie suggested that customers could save an average of $10,000 in home sales transactions by utilizing its technology and licensed real agents and directed further inquiry to its website http://homieforsenate.com/. On its website, Homie collected consumers’ personal information, including phone numbers and email addresses in exchange for “campaign” t-shirts.
In the filing entitled In re Matter of HOMIE, LLC, CV 2018-014474, the State and Homie executed an Assurance of Discontinuance, under which Homie agreed to comply with the Arizona consumer fraud statutes and no longer advertise itself as a candidate for any office in the state. Additionally, Homie agreed that it would not use any data collected through its “homieforsenate” website except to provide the T-shirts advertised.
Any violation of the Assurance of Discontinuance by Homie within the next six years will be deemed prima facie evidence of a violation of the Arizona Consumer Fraud Act. In the final analysis and without any admission of wrongdoing, Homie ultimately agreed it wouldn’t do that again.