Who Is Your Loan Officer? Do You Know Their Background?

If you end up searching for a mortgage to buy a short sale home, regardless how you discover a loan officer to get a mortgage quote from, it’s about to be real easy to learn more about who you are working with for your mortgage as a result of the SAFE Act and the new Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System Consumer Access system.

The SAFE Act

The SAFE Act – the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) is the federal law that was enacted due to the real estate and mortgage crash of 2007-2008. For a lot of committed and expert loan officers who’ve made the mortgage business their careers it’s a long time coming to finally have some national mortgage licensing and tracking system. There will now be a standard for expertise that elevates loan officers to a status similar those other professionals who are needed for real estate transactions which do require licensing and professional credentials like: real estate agents, lawyers, title agencies, insurance agents, and home appraisers.

The purpose of the SAFE Act is to:

  • Provide improved accountability and tracking of loan originators,
  • Enhance consumer protections and support anti-fraud measures,
  • Provide consumers with free information regarding a loan originator’s work history and public disciplinary and enforcement actions,
  • Establish a means by which residential home loan officers would be required to act in the best interests of the consumer,
  • Facilitate the collection and disbursement of consumer complaints,
  • Provide uniform license applications and reporting requirements for state licensed-loan originators.

Due to this Act, all residential loan officers must be state-licensed or federally registered (for the big banks).

In the event that your loan officer is employed by a mortgage banker or broker that is regulated at the state level:

  • they must submit their last 10-year work record and pass a criminal background check that confirms that they have never had a previous license shut down or that they haven’t have been convicted of a felony involving fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering or and other felony in the past 7 years,
  • they must also complete a minimum of 20 hours of accepted prelicensing education and complete a national licensing exam.

As of January 2010, loan officers who work at federally chartered banks, credit unions, and state and regional banks do not have to be licensed.

NMLS Consumer Website To Check Loan Officer Status

In response to the SAFE Act, consumers looking to find information about a loan officer they are working with can turn to the new NMLS Consumer Access site found HERE. You may have to massage your entry data to find the loan officer you are looking for as the loan officer’s parent company might not be their branch location.

You can easily do your homework on your loan officer seeing things like whether or not the loan officer is licensed, what company they are licensed with, the branch of the company they work in and where they have worked in the last 10 years. It is now also possible to see all aliases or other names that your loan officer has used since they were 18.

Remember, the NMLS Consumer Access site is separate from NMLS — which is the official system where regulators can keep track of every loan that a loan officer originates in their career and the NMLS Consumer access is really just a reporting tool, not a license granting organization.

But if you are a consumer and you are looking to get more information on your loan officer, the NMLS Consumer Access is the place that you want to start.

By the way, NMLS stands for: Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System

We work with loan officers everyday. Let us know if you need to find a local Phoenix AZ mortgage loan officer.