Alert August 03, 2010

Federal Agencies Issue Final Rules on Mortgage Originator Identification

The OCC, FRB, FDIC, OTS, NCUA and the Farm Credit Administration (the “Agencies”) issued final rules (the “Rules”) under the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (the “SAFE Act”).

The SAFE Act requires that mortgage originators who work for financial institutions that are regulated by the Agencies register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (“NMLS”), a database of mortgage originators at banks, thrifts and credit unions. 48 states use NMLS to license and supervise mortgage brokers and originators, and it is expected that all 50 states will use NMLS by the end of 2010.

The Rules, which take effect on October 1, 2010 require that each mortgage originator at an institution regulated by any of the Agencies (i) obtain a unique identifier through NMLS that will remain attached to that individual loan originator throughout his or her career, notwithstanding changes in employer and (ii) provide that identifier to customers. This is intended to allow consumers access to employment and background information on mortgage originators.

Mortgage lenders employed at institutions that are not supervised by the Agencies are required to be licensed in the states in which they operate and, if the state or states in which they are licensed offers the NMLS registry, the deadline for those mortgage lenders to be registered with NMLS was on July 31, 2010.