On July 30, 2008, President George W. Bush had signed the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) marking a significant component of mortgage reform. Title V of HERA is better known as the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act).  The SAFE Act is designed to enhance consumer protection and reduce fraud through the setting of minimum standards for the licensing of state-licensed mortgage loan.  The SAFE Act establishes minimium national standards for state-licensed Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs) to complete pre-licensure education courses, to pass a written qualified test, and to take annual continuing education courses. The SAFE Act also requires all MLOs to submit fingerprints to the NMLS for submission to the FBI for a criminal background check; and state-licensed MLOs to provide authorization for NMLS to obtain an independent credit report.

The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) was created by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) in 2006.  It is owned and operated by the State Regulatory Registry LLC (SRR), a wholly owned subsidiary of CSBS.  NMLS is the legal system of record for licensing in all participating states (49 states except Minnesota), the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories.  In these jurisdictions, NMLS is the official and sole system for mortgage lenders, brokers and originators to apply for, amend, renew and surrender licenses managed in the NMLS on behalf of the jurisdiction’s governmental agencies.  NMLS itself does not grant or deny license authority.  Visit NMLS Resource Center.


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