House bill would ease licensing requirements for some nonbank loan officers

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 March 3, 2016House bill would ease licensing requirements for some nonbank loan officers 

A House committee has passed a mortgage industry-supported proposal that would create a temporary license to allow loan officers to jump from a federally insured bank employer to a nonbank and immediately begin to originate home loans.

Under the federal SAFE Act, nonbank loan officers must jump through several extra hoops to get the mandatory state license to originate mortgages, including prelicensing and a test. Bank-employed loan officers have to be registered loan officers and pass a criminal background check, but don’t necessarily have to meet the other requirements.

On Wednesday, the House Financial Services Committee unanimously passed a measure that would grant registered bank-employed loan officers that move to a nonbank a 120-day temporary license while the loan officer completes the required licensing hurdles in that state. The bill would also grant loan officers a 120-day window to complete the licensing when they move from one state to another.

Mortgage trade groups, led by the lobbying wing of the Mortgage Bankers Association, have been pushing for a transitional license for more than a year.

Scott Olson, executive director of the non-bank trade group the Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) said  bank-employed loan officers have waited months for a license when they move to a nonbank.

“It is an impediment to mobility,” Olson said.

In a presidential election year, however, the bill’s ultimate fate remains uncertain. The Senate banking committee included similar language in a proposed regulatory reform bill, but has yet to take this up this year. Olson said that the bill’s passage by a 56-0 margin in the House committee could help move it along.

“With the 56 to nothing vote in committee, there is a decent chance that this could get enacted this year,” Olson said. “There have been a number of Dodd-Frank provisions that the Democrats have opposed. Those things are harder to get consensus in Congress to pass, but things that have this huge, bipartisan support, those tend to find their way on to must-pass bills.”


CHLA in the News