400 Mortgage Loan Officers Return Their Licenses After Education Survey

More than 400 mortgage originators have agreed to forfeit their licenses for at least three months and pay a $1,000 fine in each state where they are licensed, to settle allegations that they circumvented their annual licensing requirements. continuing education.

All of the mortgage originators were allegedly clients of a Carlsbad, Calif.-based education provider, Real Estate Educational Services (REES), which state financial regulators said provided fake certificates to some clients and took courses on behalf of others.

The SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act requires state-licensed mortgage originators to complete at least 20 hours of pre-licensing training and a minimum of eight hours of continuing education per year, using service providers approved by the National Multi-State Licensing System (NMLS).

Initiators who have relinquished their licenses must retake their pre-licensing and continuing education courses before applying for reinstatement, and they will not be permitted to take the online courses.

“State financial regulators do not take these violations lightly,” Melanie Hall, chair of the Conference of State Banking Supervisors, owner and operator of NMLS, said in a statement.

In announcing settlements, CSBS said the alleged scheme was uncovered through a biometric identity verification tool, BioSig-IDwhich is used to monitor online courses that meet SAFE Act requirements.

It sparked a multi-state investigation by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation, with agencies in 42 states reaching settlements with 441 mortgage loan officers who were fined $1.2 million. dollars in fines. An additional 167 mortgage officers involved in the investigation could still face disciplinary action, including 14 who did not respond to settlement offers.

“All MLOs [mortgage loan officers] involved in the REES investigation who have not signed a consent order will be referred to the appropriate state financial regulators for further disciplinary action against their MLO licenses,” CSBS officials said in a statement. press release of January 18. explanatory. “States have already initiated disciplinary actions against 14 MLOs who have refused to settle with the task force. Additional shares are expected to be filed in the coming months. »

Regulators say they have no plans to take action against licensing companies that have employed mortgage loan officers. But state agencies in California, Maryland and Oregon are taking administrative action against REES and its owners, the CSBS said.

REES is no longer listed as a NMLS Approved Course Providerand the company’s old website is inactive.

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