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The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) Act

Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A.

In July 2008, Congress passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (“S.A.F.E. Act”) as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008.  The S.A.F.E. Act is intended to require all loan originators to meet minimum standards for licensure in all 50 states.  In response to the S.A.F.E. Act, the Ohio legislature passed House Bill 1 which significantly amended the Ohio Mortgage Loan Act (“OMLA”). The act is effective January 1, 2010 for new applicants and effective upon the renewal of their license for existing registrants. Most notably, House Bill 1 requires all mortgage loan originators to be registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (“NMLS”).  In addition to the NMLS registration HB 1 requires OMLA applicants as well as renewing OMLA applicants to:  complete 20 hours of pre-licensing education approved by the NMLA (R.C. Section 1321.534); be fingerprinted; provide personal history and experience; provide an independent credit report; submit to governmental findings; submit to a criminal history background check; submit to a civil records check (R.C. Section 1321.531); and submit to a written test approved by the NMLS on ethics, federal and state law related to mortgage origination, fraud, consumer protection, the non-traditional mortgage marketplace, and fair lending questions.  (R.C. Section 1321.535).  Furthermore, under the amendments registrants must be compliant with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act (R.C. Section 1321.591).

The Department of Commerce Division of Financial Institutions has provided answers to Frequently Asked Questions regarding the amendment on their website at http://www.com.ohio.gov/fiin/docs/SAFEFAQ.pdf  Additionally the NMLS website (http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org/Pages/default.aspx.) provides more information concerning NMLS registration and the necessary forms that applicants and renewal registrants will have to complete.    If you have any questions concerning whether you may be governed under the new amendments contact Attorney Laura A. Brady (lbrady@kwgd.com) at Krugliak, Wilkins, Griffiths & Dougherty Co., L.P.A. at 330-497-0700. 

NOTE: This general summary of the law should not be used to solve individual problems since slight changes in the fact situation may require a material variance in the applicable legal advice.

 
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