Lesson Nine – Best Practices
The mortgage industry has seen a deluge of regulatory changes over the past few years. Each change brings with it a new set of requirements to learn and understand. The SAFE Act passed in 2008 and brought about standardization for licensing and registration for all mortgage loan originators. The SAFE Act also provides transparency which is very important for consumer protection. Fair dealings in the mortgage industry require open and clear information. The SAFE Act helps to increase the integrity of the mortgage process as well as prevent fraud.
Best practices for successful license renewal
The old saying goes practice makes perfect, but really in reality practice makes permanent. So, here are some helpful tips to make sure you have a smooth renewal each year.
- Complete your CE early
Although the SAFE Act allows for up until December 31st of each year to complete your CE AND renew your license, it does not account for the technical reporting complexities required to have you complete your education, have the CE provider report your education to the NMLS, have the NMLS update your records accurately and have your licensing state verify your records with the NMLS so you may renew your license.
- Verify Your State Requirements
As we covered earlier, many states have additional requirements in place for continuing education. You may verify your state CE requirements online at:
- Check for State Deadlines
Many states have deadlines in place for CE completing and license renewal that is sooner than the December 31st annual deadline.
Mortgage loan originators in Georgia are prohibited from applying to renew their license if they have not completed CE. The CE completing date for Georgia is October 31st. Since it may take as long as seven (7) days for a course provider to report a course completion into NMLS, MLOs are strongly encouraged not to wait until the last minute to try to complete CE or they may be prevented from submitting for renewal on time. Note: GA will assess a $100 late fee outside of NMLS if CE is completed after October 31st.
Consumers can search online to see if a mortgage loan originator they are working with is registered and/or licensed with the NMLS. The NMLS developed and oversees the NMLS Consumer Access site which provides homebuyers and the public with information regarding companies and professionals in the mortgage industry. The site is completely searchable and allows consumers to view information about state-licensed companies, branches and individuals who are licensed with the NMLS. The site is free of charge to the public and offers a means for the public to verify licensing and registration of those in the mortgage industry.
The site can be accessed at www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org.
The SAFE Act is a part of our business. It was brought about to provide for more transparency in our business which will in turn provide for better protection. Be sure you are completing your education in time for your license renewal and meeting all the other requirements for state compliance.