An Additional Four States to Use Uniform Mortgage Test; 39 State Agencies Now Using the Test

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – January 8, 2014 – (RealEstateRama) — As of January 1, four additional state or U.S. territory agencies began using the new National SAFE MLO test, bringing the total number of agencies that use the test to 39.

The four state and territory agencies adopting the new National SAFE MLO test are:

The Nevada Department of Business & Industry;
The New Mexico Financial Institutions Division;
The Puerto Rico Office of the Commissioner of Financial Institutions; and
The U.S. Virgin Islands Division of Banking & Insurance.

Twenty state agencies initially adopted the National SAFE MLO test in April 2013. An additional 10 state agencies adopted the test in July 2013 and five more agencies adopted the test in October 2013.

The test, which was first made available on April 1, 2013, combines both the national and state testing requirements of the SAFE Act and streamlines the license application process for mortgage loan originators (MLOs) seeking licenses in multiple states. For these adopting states, the new test replaces the separate, state-specific test. Also, a short version of the uniform state test, called the Stand-Alone UST, is available for enrollment until March 31, 2014.

Since its release on April 1, 2013, more than 30,650 MLOs have enrolled to take the National SAFE MLO test and approximately 21,100 MLOs have enrolled for the Stand-Alone UST.

“The launch of the National SAFE MLO test has been a great success,” said Bob Entringer, Commissioner of the North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions and Chairman of the State Regulatory Registry LLC. “Generally, those state agencies that have adopted the test have seen a significant increase in mortgage license applications. Combined with the high number of MLOs that have enrolled to take the test, this tells us that the test is very well-received by the industry for the efficiencies it brings to the license process for those MLOs seeking to do business in multiple states.”

More information on the National SAFE MLO test is available here.

Background Information:
The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) requires mortgage loan originators (MLOs) to pass the SAFE MLO test before they can be licensed with a state agency through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). Prior to April 2013, the test was comprised of two parts: a national component and a state component. In addition to passing the national component, MLOs seeking to hold licenses in multiple states were required to pass the state component for each state in which they wished to do business. Under the new National SAFE MLO Test with Uniform State Content, a license applicant who passes the test will not need to take any additional state-specific tests to hold a license within participating states. A separate version of the test, the Stand-alone UST, is available for existing licenses who may wish to seek licenses in additional states.

To date, a total of 39 state agencies are using the UST. The remaining state agencies may elect to adopt the UST at a future date, but they are not required to do so. State agencies which choose not to adopt the UST will continue to require applicants to take and pass the current state specific test components.

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Media Contact:
Catherine Woody, Senior Director of Communications, or 202.728.5733.
Rockhelle Johnson, Manager of Communications, or 202.407.7156

The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) is the nationwide organization for state bank regulation, representing the bank regulators of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. State authorities supervise approximately 6,000 state?chartered financial institutions. Further, the majority of state banking departments also oversee mortgage providers and other financial service providers. CSBS is also responsible for improving the quality of state bank supervision by providing performance evaluation and accreditation programs for the banking departments, as well as supervisory education and training programs for state personnel.

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry is owned and operated by State Regulatory Registry LLC. CSBS in cooperation with the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) established the State Regulatory Registry LLC (SRR) on September 29, 2006. A limited-liability company, SRR is to develop and operate nationwide systems for state regulators in the financial services industry. Such systems are intended to enhance state’s ability to protect consumers; improve supervision and enforcement of licensed entities; and streamline licensing and other processes for state agencies and the industry through the use of modern technology and centralizing redundant state agency operations.

NMLS is a web-based system that allows state-licensed mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers, and loan officers to apply for, amend, update or renew a license online for all states using a single set of uniform applications. NMLS began operation on January 2, 2008. Further, passage of the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 requires all mortgage loan originators (MLOs) to be registered or state-licensed through NMLS. MLOs employed by insured depository institutions and subsidiaries are to be registered, and all other MLOs are to be licensed by state mortgage regulators. Federal depository regulators have indicated that MLOs could begin registering on NMLS in January 2011.

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