Monday, April 25, 2011

Maryland Loan Officers – You Need Company Sponsorship

By now, most of you loan officers have the licensing requirements down pat – 20 hours of pre-licensing education, pass the state and national tests, do the criminal background check, get the credit check done – and you’re licensed. There’s always a stray requirement hanging out there that you forget about and Maryland’s newest requirement highlights that fact.

The SAFE Act requires that all loan officers work for only one mortgage company at a time. The company that you work for must “sponsor” you. That means that your employer must show on the NMLS that you work for them. Most states, when they transitioned onto the NMLS, required the company sponsorship as part of the initial licensing application. You couldn’t get your loan originator license until your company sponsored you.

Maryland was different. You transitioned your license onto the NMLS but your company sponsored you on the Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation website. Now, Maryland is requiring that all employers create a sponsorship relationship with each of their loan officers on the NMLS. This must be completed by May 15, 2011 or there will be a payment involved.

All Maryland loan officers must first give access to their employer to their MU4 record. This is done by the loan officer getting onto their MU4 record on the NMLS and creating an “active relationship” with their employer. Once that has been completed, your employer must create the sponsorship.

You must keep checking your NMLS record to ensure that your employer has completed his part of the sponsorship request. After May 15, 2011, any loan officer who has not had a sponsorship request submitted via the NMLS will be placed in an "approved-inactive" status. That means that you will not have the authority to originate loans.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Rules Keep Changing – A New Opportunity For You?

The SAFE Act required every state to create laws that governed the licensing of mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers and their employees. While creating the new laws that were compliant with the SAFE Act, many states changed their requirements for licensing.

Many states that had previously required that you maintain a physical office in their state eliminated that requirement (i.e., New Jersey and Pennsylvania). If you had ever thought of doing business in a state but were reluctant to spend the money on office rent and staff, re-check the new requirements in that state. You may find that the brick and mortar requirement doesn’t exist anymore and you can now get licensed there.

You should also check minimum net worth requirements. In some states they went up or were created where they had never existed, and in other states, because certain categories of licenses were changed, the minimum net worth requirements were changed.

Lastly, most states do not require audited financial statements, where they once may have been part of the licensing process. I know many mortgage brokers who did not want to spend the money to get an audited financial statement so they did not get FHA approval (FHA approval for the “mini-eagle” for loan correspondents does not exist anymore) or get licensed in a particular state.

My advice is to check the current licensing requirements for any state in which you may have in the past wished to do business. If you don’t have the time or inclination, hire outside counsel who can check it for you. You may find a new source of business in another state.