New York State Banking Department: Only 1,800-plus have met SAFE Act requirements
The New York State Banking Department has today that more than 1,800 mortgage loan originators (MLOs) have met the licensing requirements mandated by New York State and the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act of 2008. Under both laws, MLOs (with exceptions for certain grandfathered MLOs) were required to meet certain professional criteria and be registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) by July 31, 2010, in order to continue doing business in New York State. The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are more than $2.4 trillion. “New Yorkers can now rest assured when they meet with the MLOs sponsored by mortgage bankers and mortgage brokers that these are qualified, licensed professionals who have been subject to background checks and educated in mortgage law,” said Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for New York State. “What’s more—consumers now have resources at their fingertips to confirm for themselves that these individuals are properly licensed to originate mortgages.” Consumers are able to check, free of charge, the license status of a loan originator by going on the NMLS Consumer Access Web site, www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org. There they can verify that an individual or company is currently licensed to do business, the state that license is in, and the business address. In order for a loan originator to be licensed in New York State and listed on the NMLS site, they must first pass criminal and financial background checks, take 20 hours of pre-license educational coursework, pass exams on federal and state mortgage law, be covered by a surety bond, and be employed by a licensed mortgage banker, mortgage broker or non-bank lender. “New York was one of the first states to make MLOs—and not just the mortgage brokers and bankers that they worked for—accountable to consumers and regulators for their actions and expertise as professionals. We began back in 2006, with the passage of legislation which mandated the registration of MLOs with the Banking Department. Today, with the SAFE Act, we have a set of nationwide minimum standards for the mortgage industry and a verification system that’s easily accessible to both consumers and regulators,” said Superintendent Neiman. About 740 MLOs were authorized under New York’s pre-SAFE Act law, (Chapter 744 of the Laws of 2006, as amended in 2007) and have until Aug. 31, 2010 to complete the new coursework and testing requirements. The approximately 9,000 MLOs who submitted applications under the post-SAFE Act law, but have not yet finished the necessary education or testing requirements, are no longer able to originate mortgage loans in New York, though they may be employed in a non-MLO capacity. These applicants have until Oct. 1, 2010 to complete their application and become licensed. In addition to individual mortgage professionals, the New York State Banking Department supervises and licenses more than 1,364 mortgage banker and mortgage broker companies. For more information, visit www.banking.state.ny.us.