(1) Must I have a license to act as a mortgage loan originator for a consumer loan company? Yes. You must not engage in the business of a mortgage loan originator without first obtaining and maintaining annually a license under this act. You must register with and maintain a valid unique identifier issued by the NMLS.
(2) How do I apply for a loan originator license? Your application consists of filing an online application through the NMLS and providing Washington specific requirements directly to DFI. You must pay an application fee and filing fee through the NMLS.
(3) What are the eligibility requirements to become a licensed loan originator?
(a) Be eighteen years or older.
(b) Have a high school diploma, an equivalent to a high school diploma, or three years work experience in the industry.
(i) The work experience must be in one or more of the following, within the last five years:
(A) As a mortgage broker or designated broker of a mortgage broker for a minimum of two years; or
(B) As a mortgage banker, responsible individual, or manager of a mortgage banking business; or
(C) As a loan originator with responsibility primarily for originating loans secured by a lien on residential real estate; or
(D) As a branch manager of a lender with responsibility primarily for loans secured by a lien on residential real estate; or
(E) As a manager or supervisor of mortgage loan originators; or
(F) As a mortgage processor, underwriter, or quality control professional; or
(G) As a regulator, examiner, investigator, compliance expert, or auditor, whose primary function is the review of mortgage companies and their compliance processes, and the department determines your background is sufficient.
(ii) The work experience must be evidenced by a detailed work history and:
(A) W-2 Federal Income Tax Reporting Forms in the designated broker appointee's name; or
(B) 1099 Federal Income Tax Reporting Forms in the designated broker appointee's name; or
(C) Corporate tax returns signed by the designated broker appointee or corporate officer for a licensed or exempt residential mortgage company.
(iii) In addition to supplying the application information, both you and the company intending to sponsor you must be in good standing with the department.
(c) Demonstrate financial responsibility. For the purposes of this section, an applicant has not demonstrated financial responsibility when the applicant shows disregard in the management of his or her financial condition. A determination that an individual has shown disregard in the management of his or her financial condition may include, but is not limited to, an assessment of: Your credit report, current outstanding judgments, except judgments solely as a result of medical expenses; current outstanding tax liens or judgments or other government liens or filings; foreclosures within the last three years; or a pattern of seriously delinquent accounts within the past three years. Specifically, you are not eligible to receive a loan originator license if you have one hundred thousand dollars or more of tax liens against you at the time of application.
(d) Complete twenty hours of prelicensing education from an NMLS approved provider. See WAC 208-620-720
(e) Pass a licensing test.
You must take and pass the NMLS tests that assess your knowledge of the mortgage business and related regulations at the federal and state level. See WAC 208-620-725
(f) Complete prelicensing education.
You must complete prelicensing education. See WAC 208-620-720
(g) Submit an application. You must complete an application through the NMLS and provide information directly to DFI. You must pay application and filing fees to the NMLS.
(h) Prove your identity. You must provide information to prove your identity.
(i) Provide a bond.
(i) If you are employed by a company that is exempt from licensing, or uses a bond substitute, you must obtain and maintain an individual bond based on the volume of your mortgage loan origination activity. By March 1st of each year, you must determine your required bond amount and provide DFI with proof of having an adequate bond. The bond must be in the following amount:
Zero to twenty million in loans originated:
Twenty million to thirty million:
Thirty million to forty million:
Forty million and above:
(ii) If you are employed by a company that is exempt and is a nonprofit housing organization making loans under housing programs that are funded in whole or in part by federal or state programs with the primary purpose of assisting low-income borrowers with purchasing or repairing housing or for the development of housing for low-income Washington state residents, the bond must be in the following amounts:
Zero to fifty million in loans originated:
(j) File a quarterly call report. Reserved.
(4) In addition to reviewing my application, what else will the department consider to determine if I qualify for a loan originator license?
(a) General fitness and prior compliance actions. The department will investigate your background to see that you demonstrate the experience, character, and general fitness that commands the confidence of the community and creates a belief that you will conduct business honestly and fairly within the purposes of the act. This investigation may include a review of the number and severity of complaints filed against you, or any person you were responsible for, and a review of any investigation or enforcement activity taken against you, or any person you were responsible for, in this state, or any jurisdiction.
(b) License suspensions or revocations. You are not eligible for a loan originator license if you have been found to be in violation of the act or the rules, or have had a license issued under the act or any similar state statute suspended or revoked.
(c) Criminal history. You are not eligible for a loan originator license if you have been convicted of, or pled guilty or nolo contendere to a felony in a domestic, foreign, or military court:
(i) During the seven-year period preceding the date of the application for licensing and registration; or
(ii) At any time preceding the date of application, if the felony involved an act of fraud, dishonesty, breach of trust, or money laundering.
(5) What will happen if my loan originator license application is incomplete? After submitting your online application through the NMLS and filing the required information and documentation with the department, the department will notify you of any application deficiencies.
(6) How do I withdraw my application for a loan originator license?
(a) Once you have submitted the online application through NMLS you may withdraw the application through NMLS. You will not receive a refund of the NMLS filing fee or the amount the department uses to investigate your license application.
(b) The withdrawal of your license application will not affect any license suspension or revocation proceedings in progress at the time you withdraw your application through the NMLS.
(7) When will the department consider my loan originator license application to be abandoned? If you do not respond within fifteen days and as directed by the department, your loan originator license application is considered abandoned and you forfeit all fees paid. Failure to provide the requested information will not affect new applications filed after the abandonment. You may reapply by submitting a new application package and new application fee.
(8) What happens if the department denies my application for a loan originator license, and what are my rights if the license is denied?
See WAC 208-620-615
(9) May I transfer, sell, trade, assign, loan, share, or give my loan originator license to someone else? No. A loan originator license authorizes only the individual named on the license to conduct the business at the location listed on the license.
(10) How do I change information on my loan originator license? You must submit an amendment to your license through the NMLS. You may be charged a fee.
(11) What is an inactive loan originator license? When a licensed loan originator is not sponsored by a licensed or exempt entity, the license is inactive. When a person holds an inactive license, they may not conduct any of the activities of a loan originator, or hold themselves out as a licensed loan originator.
(12) When my loan originator license is inactive, am I subject to the director's enforcement authority? Yes. Your license is granted under specific authority of the director and under certain situations you may be subject to the director's authority even if you are not doing any activity covered by the act.
(13) When my loan originator license is inactive, must I continue to pay annual fees, and complete continuing education for that year? Yes. You must comply with all the annual licensing requirements or you will be unable to renew your inactive loan originator license.
(14) May I originate loans from a web site when my license is inactive? No. You may not originate loans, or engage in any activity that requires a license under the act, while your license is inactive.
(15) How do I activate my loan originator license? The sponsoring company must submit a sponsorship request for your license through the NMLS. The department will notify you and the sponsoring company if approved.
(16) When may the department issue interim loan originator licenses? To prevent an undue delay, the director may issue interim loan originator licenses with a fixed expiration date. The license applicant must meet the minimum requirements to obtain a license under the S.A.F.E. Act to receive an interim license.
(17) When does my loan originator license expire? The loan originator license expires annually on December 31st. If the license is an interim license, it may expire in less than one year.
(18) How do I renew my loan originator license?
(a) Before the license expiration date you must renew your license through the NMLS. Renewal consists of:
(i) Paying the annual assessment fee; and
(ii) Meeting the continuing education requirement. You will not have a continuing education requirement in the year in which you complete the core twenty hours of prelicensing education. See WAC 208-620-730
(b) The renewed license is valid until it expires, or is surrendered, suspended or revoked.
(19) If I let my loan originator license expire, must I apply to get a new license? If you complete all the requirements for renewal on or before the last day of February each year, you may renew an existing license. However, if you renew your license during this two-month period, in addition to paying the annual assessment on your license, you must pay an additional fifty percent of your annual assessment. See subsection (17) of this section for the license renewal requirements.
During this two-month period, your license is expired and you must not conduct any business under the act that requires a license.
Any renewal requirements received by the department must be evidenced by either a United States Postal Service postmark or department "date received" stamp by March 1st. If you fail to comply with the renewal request requirements you must apply for a new license.
(20) If I let my loan originator license expire and then apply for a new loan originator license within one year of the expiration, must I comply with the continuing education requirements from the prior license period? Yes. Before the department will consider your new loan originator application complete, you must provide proof of satisfying the continuing education requirements from the prior license period.
(21) May I still originate loans if my loan originator license has expired? No. Once your license has expired you may no longer conduct the business of a loan originator, or hold yourself out as a licensed loan originator, as defined in the act and these rules.
(22) May I surrender my loan originator's license? Yes. Only you may surrender your license before the license expires through the NMLS.
Surrendering your loan originator license does not change your civil or criminal liability, or your liability for any administrative actions arising from acts or omissions occurring before the license surrender.
(23) Must I display my loan originator license where I work as a loan originator? No. Neither you nor the company is required to display your loan originator license. However, evidence that you are licensed as a loan originator must be made available to anyone who requests it.
(24) If I operate as a loan originator on the internet, must I display my license number on my web site? Yes. You must display your license number and license name. You must also display the license number and name as it appears on the license of the company you represent, on the web site.
(25) Must I include my loan originator license number on any documents? You must include your license number immediately following your name on solicitations, correspondence, business cards, advertisements, and residential mortgage loan applications.
(26) When must I disclose my loan originator license number? In the following situations you must disclose your loan originator license number and the name and license number of the company you are associated with:
(a) When asked by any party to a loan transaction, including third-party providers;
(b) When asked by any person you have solicited for business, even if the solicitation is not directly related to a mortgage transaction;
(c) When asked by any person who contacts you about a residential mortgage loan;
(d) When taking a residential mortgage loan application.
(27) May I conduct business under a name other than the name on my loan originator license? No. You must only use the name on your license when conducting business. If you use a nickname for your first name, you must use your name like this: "FirstName "Nickname" LastName."
(28) As a licensed mortgage loan originator, what are my reporting responsibilities? You must notify the director through amendment to the NMLS within ten business days to a change of:
(a) Answers to the NMLS generated disclosure questions;
(b) Sponsorship status;
(c) Residence address; or
(d) Any change in the information supplied to the director in your original application.
[Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040
and 31.04.165. WSR 12-18-047, § 208-620-710, filed 8/29/12, effective 11/1/12. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040
, 31.04.165 and 2010 c 35. WSR 10-20-122, § 208-620-710, filed 10/5/10, effective 11/5/10. Statutory Authority: RCW 43.320.040
, 31.04.165, 2009 c 120, and 2009 c 149. WSR 09-24-090, § 208-620-710, filed 12/1/09, effective 1/1/10.]