Salem, OR – August 3, 2010 – (RealEstateRama) — Starting this week, Oregonians looking to buy a home or refinance their mortgage can go online to see if a mortgage lender has met stringent new licensing standards.
By clicking on http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org, consumers can search for a mortgage company or one of its employees who works with borrowers (called a loan originator). The website will show licensing status and employment history of the loan originator. Loan originators in Oregon now must meet strict criteria, including 20 hours of education before receiving a license, 10 hours of continuing education per year, passing both a national and a state test, passing a criminal background check, and being covered by a surety bond.
“As we struggle with the nation’s foreclosure crisis, we’ve all seen the problems that unqualified mortgage loan originators can cause,” said Cory Streisinger, director of the Department of Consumer and Business Services (DCBS), which regulates mortgage lenders in Oregon. “These new standards will help ensure that borrowers are better protected.”
The website and stronger licensing standards are part of the new national mortgage lending licensing system required by the federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008. The “SAFE” Act requires all mortgage lenders and loan originators to be licensed through the national system by July 31, 2010, and meet stringent requirements. The database does not yet include loan originators who work for banks or credit unions, but they are subject to similar federal oversight and will be in the database soon.
“Being part of the national licensing system with uniform requirements enables us to better protect Oregonians by ensuring anyone doing business here is also following the law in other states,” said David Tatman, administrator of the department’s Division of Finance and Corporate Securities.
DCBS has been working on implementing the system since 2009, when it proposed and the Legislature passed House Bill 2189. To date, the department has approved about 2,600 loan originator licenses.
“Completing this project on schedule was critical to us, to ensure Oregonians who are buying or refinancing their homes are better protected,” Tatman said.
The licensing website will expand over time to include more information, such as enforcement actions taken by states. In the meantime, consumers can learn about enforcement actions against Oregon companies by going to http://www.cbs.state.or.us/dfcs/securities/enf/orders/ord_srch.html or by calling the DCBS Division of Finance and Corporate Securities at 1-866-814-9710.
For more information:
Lisa Morawski, 503-947-7897, or
lisa.m.morawski (at) state.or (dot) us