More states have adopted, or will adopt, the use of the Uniform State Test (UST) for compliance with education requirements under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act). The SAFE Act requires mortgage loan originators (MLO) to pass a “qualified written test” before they can be licensed.
A “qualified written test,” as defined under the SAFE Act, should include material regarding: ethics, federal and state laws and regulations covering mortgage origination, and other federal and state laws and regulations, including instruction on fraud, consumer protection, nontraditional mortgage marketplace and fair lending issues.
Under the new UST, an applicant for licensing who passes this test will not need to take any additional state-specific tests to hold a license with those states participating.
So far 38 states and territories have formally adopted the UST. In addition, New York, Ohio and Oklahoma plan to formally adopt the UST on the dates shown below.
The following states have formally adopted the UST as of this writing: Alabama, Alaska, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah (DFI only), Vermont, Virgin Islands, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.
New York, Ohio and Oklahoma will formally adopt the UST on Sept. 2, 2014, Sept. 15, 2014 and Oct. 1, 2014, respectively.
The remaining state agencies which elect not to adopt the UST will require applicants to take and pass the current state specific test components up until the actual date that the state agency adopts the UST.
Overall, the National Test Component with Uniform State Content consists of 125 questions, of which 25 new questions have been added to the UST as a separate section. According to the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS), the UST will test applicants on their knowledge of high-level state-related material from the SAFE Act and the CSBS/AARMR Model State Law.
Ray Hagan is senior regulatory compliance analyst at AllRegs. First introduced in 1989, AllRegs is used by virtually all of the top 100 lenders as well as throughout numerous governmental agencies, including Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, the FHLBs, FHA, VA, RHS, Ginnie Mae, and more. AllRegs is the exclusive electronic publisher of the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Single and Multi-Family Seller/Servicer Guides and the Federal Home Loan Banks’ MPF Program Guidelines. Products include single and multifamily underwriting and insuring guidelines as well as federal compliance laws and regulations, state compliance laws and regulations with plain-language analyses, contract publishing services, and a library of historical guidelines. The educational division, AllRegs Academy, offers virtual and live training, as well as designation and online guides. The Professional Services Group develops custom guides, policy manuals, and other documents on a contract basis. For more information, call (800) 848-4904 or visit www.allregs.com.
This article originally appeared in the August 2014 edition of National Mortgage Professional Magazine.