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A new law has been signed into law in Georgia that somewhat loosens mortgage licensing law requirements. The Peach State no longer extends its standards across the country.
What was at issue was prohibition on licensing convicted felons. Georgia law said no felons could work for a company originating mortgages in the state, even if the former convicts never did mortgage work in Georgia. That placed an undue burden on national companies with locations in multiple states.
Writing at JDSupra.com, attorneys Robert Niemi and Haydn Richards Jr. said the impact of the new law is that as long as those employees are not engaging in origination, processing, or underwriting activities relating to Georgia loans, mortgage originators are still in compliance.
They said, “[W]e understand the intent of the legislation is to allow companies to hire more freely outside of Georgia, with the understanding that it is possible to hire someone who may have a felony in their background so long as the individual is not within Georgia and will not work with Georgia loan files.”
The attorneys, who work for Bradley Arant Boult Cummings in Birmingham, Ala., further noted, “The impact of this provision extended well beyond Georgia and included employees and mortgage originators in other states, even those without a license to make loans in the state of Georgia.”
The attorneys explained, “Georgia had historically been challenged by rampant mortgage fraud and, as a result, maintains significant protections regarding the employment of felons.”
The new law, the attorneys said, introduces a newly defined term for a covered employee. It is defined as “any employee of a mortgage lender or mortgage broker who is involved in residential mortgage loan related activities for property located in Georgia and includes, but is not limited to, a mortgage loan originator, processor, or underwriter, or other employee who has access to residential mortgage loan origination, processing, or underwriting information.