The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) published the first report on multi-state examination efforts to improve supervision of the mortgage industry. The Multi-State Mortgage Committee Report to State Regulators identified the following key steps states have taken over the past year: ● The states formed the Multi-State Mortgage Committee in December 2008 to represent the states in the coordination of examinations of the largest multi-state mortgage companies. ● All 50 states plus D.C. and Puerto Rico have adopted the nationwide protocol for information sharing and coordination of multi-state exams. ● The states have begun the first comprehensive multi-state examination of a mortgage company and anticipate expanding this effort significantly next year. This progress on the coordination of multi-state examination efforts builds on the states’ success in developing a nationwide mortgage licensing system in January 2008. Forty-six states are scheduled to participate in the nationwide licensing system by January 2010, with all states expected to participate by 2011. Currently, over 11,000 companies and 66,469 loan originators are licensed in the nationwide system. “This initiative is about uniformity in approach and modernization of processes. States have been hard at work for nearly two years delivering an examination format that is not only effective, but efficient for regulators and stakeholders,” said Steve Antonakes, Massachusetts Commissioner of Banks. “This report is the latest demonstration of the major steps states have taken to work together to improve supervision in the mortgage industry,” said Mark Pearce, AARMR president and Deputy Commissioner of Banks for North Carolina. “These efforts have significantly improved our ability to protect consumers from abusive practices in the mortgage industry,” said Pearce. In addition to these regulatory improvements, state legislatures have also been hard at work. In the past twelve months, 49 states have enacted legislation to update mortgage licensing schemes to meet or surpass the federal minimum requirements of the federal SAFE Act enacted in July 2008. AARMR and CSBS drafted and adopted a model state statute to assist States in complying with the SAFE Act. This model statute was determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development as meeting federal requirements for the licensure of mortgage loan originators under the SAFE Act. “The states have shown they can move quickly and in coordinated fashion to improve the consistency of regulation of the mortgage market,” said Pearce. “The federal SAFE Act serves as a model of how the federal and state governments can partner to protect consumers in the mortgage market.” The new report provides information on other multi-state mortgage initiatives, such as: ● Participation in the Federal/State Subprime Mortgage Lending Pilot to examine the origination of non-traditional mortgage loans. ● Development of regulatory guidance and the Model Examination Guidelines to improve consistency in mortgage regulation. ● Development of Reverse Mortgage Examination Guidelines to address emerging abuses. ● Development of examination standards to determine mortgage lenders’ consideration of a borrower’s ability to repay ● Development of uniform standards for accreditation of state agencies’ mortgage supervision programs and training of mortgage examiners. The report is available to download by clicking here.