The West Virginia Division of Financial Institutions announced via a posting on the NMLS Resource Center that it will accept the National State MLO Test with Uniform State Content (UST) on June 1, 2018. This was the second recent change made by the Division following the enactment of HB 4285. The earlier move was to increase the number of pre-licensing and continuing education hours that must be focused on the West Virginia mortgage and consumer laws. West Virginia becomes the 58th state agency to eliminate their state specific test in favor of the National State MLO Test Component with Uniform State Content. So that leaves…
Yes, Minnesota is the one and only remaining state agency not yet to move from a state specific test to the UST. The process for streamlining the licensing process for originators was begun by the MBA back in 2013. Back then, it met strong opposition, and no way anyone would wagered that Minnesota would be the stalwart. Personally, I would have placed my ante on the two previous agencies to adopt, the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs and the South Carolina Board of Financial Institutions. The Utah Division of Real Estate, Arkansas Securities Department, and the Florida Office of Financial Regulation were the other state agencies to adopt the UST beginning in 2017.
William Kooper and the State Government Affairs team at MBA have been working with state mortgage banking associations to adopt the UST nationwide. He shared this statement: “MBA has long supported not only the adoption of more uniform state licensing requirements for MLOs, but also greater opportunities for movement of qualified licensed professionals among states and between federally regulated and state licensed lenders.”
Kooper also shared that MBA has been working with the Minnesota Mortgage Association to adopt legislation to accept the UST and that as of April 2, it has passed the Minnesota House and approved by Committee in the Minnesota Senate. The Minnesota bill would require that among the eight hours of continuing education, one hour must be devoted to the study of state law. The focus on state specific law or additional hours of required education has been a frequent component state agencies have adopted as part of the UST legislative process.
MBA has also been working in recent years to advance S.A.F.E. Act Amendments to create a transitional authority to enable originator mobility. This 120-day temporary authority would be granted to originators transitioning between federally insured depositories and state licensed non-depositories, and those moving across state lines. The bill also stipulates that transitioning originators and the companies sponsoring them remain subject to the S.A.F.E. Act and applicable state law.
This transitional language is included in a bill recently approved by the Senate, which also includes consumer protections for Property Assessed Clean Lending loans, changes to HMDA reporting requirements, and a partial fix to challenges in TRID. The transitional licensing authority language previously passed the House in both the 114th and 115th Congress, so keep watch for more changes.
Republished with permission. This article first appeared in the "From the Desk of the 'Om-Bobs-man'" column of Mortgage Compliance Magazine in May 2018.