Florida Shuts Down Mortgage Industry Licensing Application System on July 8, 2010

Allison Tussey —  June 15, 2010 — 5 Comments

On July 8, 2010, the Florida Office of Financial Regulation (OFR) will stop accepting applications for mortgage broker, mortgage brokerage business, mortgage lender and correspondent mortgage lender licenses, so that current applications can be processed before October 1. Beginning October 1, 2010, Florida will begin participation in the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, and all existing loan originators, brokers and lenders and mortgage business owners will be required to reapply for licensure. December 31, 2010, is the last day to apply for licensure.

Over the last two years, OFR has developed and implemented tougher licensing requirements for the mortgage industry to better protect Florida’s consumers. As authorized by federal and state law, the Office will now raise the bar even higher for anyone wanting to stay or enter the mortgage industry.

The new licensing process includes having state and federal criminal backgrounds checked and a credit report pulled. For the first time, the Office will be able to evaluate credit reports, giving regulators a larger set of criteria to determine that a person can demonstrate character, general fitness and financial responsibility before granting a license. The Office will look at items on the credit report such as bankruptcies, outstanding tax liens or other governmental liens, outstanding judgments, foreclosures and charged off accounts.

Additionally, licensees will now be required to renew their licenses on a yearly basis to include resubmitting to state and federal criminal backgrounds checks and a credit report. The Office will not renew a license if the applicant does not continue to meet the same standards required at initial licensure. Prior to this, mortgage brokers, businesses and lenders were only required to submit to a state criminal background check during initial licensure and were allowed to renew every two years without a subsequent background check.

“We encourage applicants to apply now so that they have a better chance of being approved before October 1. If unlicensed by this date, individuals will not be able to work in the industry until the new application is approved,” said Tom Cardwell, Commissioner of the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. “Applicants should submit information that is complete, correct and containing full-disclosure to minimize delays to processing their application.”

More information on the new mortgage licensing requirements, process and fees is available on our website at http://www.flofr.com/Finance/index.htm. Additional questions can be answered through the Office’s Licensing Department at 850-410-9805.

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Allison Tussey

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5 responses to Florida Shuts Down Mortgage Industry Licensing Application System on July 8, 2010

  1. If you wonder why they ask for the criminal records, etc., can you imagine giving your social security number and personal information to someone who had a criminal past?

    It was bad enough that the ma and pa “kettle” mortgage companies tossed their old files in public waste bins. Why do you think people buy shredders? Most of these people worked from their homes… Big banks have to have procedures, but somehow these people didn’t?

    There is more to this than people realize.

    I still think the mortgage broker is on their way OUT…. take about five years.. it will be gone…

  2. I do agree with DG’s point, but my biggest concern is that your personal and financial information will become public unnecessarily, and that is insane.

    If they were to disqualify anyone for a license, solely on the fact that he/she has a smudged credit report, or had a bk, foreclosure, judgment(s), tax liens, or charge-off accounts at some point,then 90% of the entire US population could not qualify and/or had to be excluded.

    The OFR has admitted to granting licenses to ex-convicts in the past…they did not upheld the “safety requirements” then, so what make you think they will uphold them now? And, had the OFR done their job as they should have, then many of today’s MB’s criminals would not have a FL license and be allowed to defraud the consumers as they have.

    Still, the government has not done enough to put these people out of business, behind bars and force them to make restitution.

    Let those who have always complied with the regulations, who have continued their education without requirements from OFR, and who are true professionals, remain licensed… and the OFR can go after the rest.

    With all the identity theft going on everywhere, it is quite alarming to have your very private information, out there for everyone to see and steal.

  3. Without question, licensing reform was/is necessary. Unfortunately, a reasonably small percentage of bad apples have caused and allowed the government to overreact.

    Loan Agents will now be under more scrutiny than politicians, doctors, nurses, cops and teachers. Let’s run THEIR credit reports and criminal records annually as well!

    I don’t really have a problem with the new rules as long as ALL loan originators are subject to the EXACT same rules – including all bank, credit union, and community housing organization employees who originate loans.

    I must say, however, I do have a slight concern that the new regulatoty schemes appear to be somewhat aimed at eliminating competition to the benefit of the largest originators, i.e., the large national banks.

    It almost seems, with the cost and complexity of compliance, that the ever more intrusive government is de facto deciding winners and losers in the sphere of mortgage lending.

    Let’s hope the government intrusion and selection of who wins and who loses doesn’t extend too far in other industries, e.g., energy et al. COL! (crying out loud).

  4. I have worked in this industry a long time, in the early years, the usage of a mortgage broker was not common. Most borrowers walked into a bank or savings and loan.

    Loans weren’t “churned” to create a false economy, and artifical work volume.

    With the internet, and more friendly bank personnel, a broker (which originally was for the “difficult” borrower, and individual investors) may be the last choice of the public.

    Unless they demonstrate a massive aura of honesty, and integrity, (and a few more brain cells) they may become extinct. The new regulations will really filter out the “bad eggs”.

    It is about time…

  5. NOW we’re headed in the right direction, which is the direction the entire nation needs to take.

    The industry as a whole has proven to be far more dangerous than Al Qaeda.

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