The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (“DFPI” or the “Department”) will have no shortage of applications to process before year end.  Last week, the DFPI reminded industry participants that, beginning on September 1, 2021, it will make available through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (“NMLS”) the application needed to apply for a license under the Debt Collection Licensing Act (“DCLA”).  Passed in September of 2020, the DCLA (SB 908) requires any person engaged in the business of debt collection, which includes debt buyers, to apply for a license on or before Friday, December 31, 2021, in order to continue to operate as a debt collector in California when the DCLA goes into effect on January 1, 2022.  Failure to submit an application by the December 31st application deadline will preclude a debt collector from lawfully operating as a debt collector until the issuance of a license (Fin. Code §§ 100000.5, 100001(a)).  For more details,  the DFPI has published a series of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) at:  Debt Collectors: Frequently Asked Questions | The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (ca.gov).

Also, nearly two years after publishing a Notice or Proposed Rulemaking that will require all California Financing Law (“CFL”) licenses to be issued through the NMLS, and one day prior to an extended NMLS maintenance period (covered in our prior blog post), the DFPI announced that existing  CFL licensees are now eligible to begin transitioning their licenses to the NMLS.   Oddly, the announcement was made two days prior to the July 22nd end date for the comment period relating to the most recently proposed modifications to the proposed rules (see  Fifth Notice of Modifications to Proposed Regulations).  Upon final approval of  the regulations, it is expected that all CFL licenses will be issued through the NMLS by December 31, 2021.  This change may not be welcome for entities that do not presently have an NMLS record because establishing a Company Record through the NMLS to transition an existing CFL license onto the system is a separate process that takes time and effort.

Given the typical processing times (usually 90 days) for CFL license applications and the upcoming NMLS renewal period that begins on November 1, 2021, CFL licensees that do not have an existing NMLS Company Record should consider starting the transition process sooner rather than later. 
Continue Reading California Licensing Update

As many of us look forward to our summer vacations, the NMLS also has plans to take time off this summer.  Due to system maintenance, beginning Wednesday, July 21 at 8:00 p.m. ET, the NMLS and NMLS Consumer Access will be unavailable for four full days, July 22 through July 25, with an anticipated return to operations on Monday July 26 at 7:00 a.m. ET.  This maintenance period is significantly longer than previous maintenance periods, which typically occur over a weekend.  The system will be completely inaccessible during this time, meaning that all Company and Individual users will be unable to log into their record to make any filings or amendments to the record, or to review any status updates or licensing deficiencies. Regulators also will be unable to access the NMLS or NMLS Consumer Access during this maintenance period.  The NMLS Call Center will remain open during the system maintenance.

Below, we offer a few suggestions for users to ensure you and/or your Company are ready for the upcoming NMLS maintenance period:


Continue Reading NMLS and NMLS Consumer Access Scheduled to Take a Summer Break

Consumer financial services providers likely think of state licensing requirements as a state law compliance issue. But the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) views these issues as federal matters as well. In a consent order issued December 8, 2020, the CFPB asserted that an unlicensed debt collector’s threat of suit and actual suit to collect on a debt violated the federal prohibition against deceptive practices. The consent order represents the CFPB’s latest action that essentially federalizes state law violations.
Continue Reading State Licensing and Federal UDAAP – What’s the Connection?

Should US state nonbank mortgage servicers be subject to “safety and soundness” standards of the type imposed by federal law on insured depository institutions, even though the nonbanks do not solicit and hold customer funds in federally insured deposit accounts or pose a direct risk of a government bailout? Well, state mortgage banking regulators think

On September 25, California Governor Newsom signed Senate Bill 908, enacting the Debt Collection Licensing Act (the “DCLA”), placing California with the majority of states that require consumer debt collectors to be licensed. Subject to a few exemptions, persons engaging in the business of debt collection in California (including debt buyers) will be required to submit a license application before January 1, 2022. Senate Bill 908 is just one of a number of consumer protection bills enacted in California in recent days, including a bill creating the state’s “mini-CFPB.”

Continue Reading California Becomes the Latest State to License Debt Collectors

After a number of failed efforts and amid the COVID-19 national emergency, Virginia enacted a law that requires student loan servicers to obtain a license. On April 22, 2020, Virginia House Bill 10 and the identical Senate Bill 77 (collectively, the “Legislation”) were enacted into law after state representatives agreed to certain recommendations made by Virginia’s Governor earlier last month. Although eleven other states require student loan servicers to obtain a license, registration, or make a notice filing, Virginia’s new law is unique in that it could reach a much wider range of companies.

Continue Reading Virginia Enacts One of the Broadest Student Loan Servicer Licensing Laws

Federal regulators and Congress continue to release new guidance and requirements to assist residential mortgage loan borrowers facing economic hardships due to the pandemic. But in light of the anticipated volume of requests and associated burden on servicers, they also are offering some regulatory relief. This alert contains a summary of relevant mortgage servicing requirements,

Two days after its original announcement, the NMLS Policy Committee has amended its previously announced 60-day temporary deadline extension for certain types of reporting submitted in NMLS. According to the current posting on the NMLS website, it appears that because the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council announced there would be a 30-day extension for certain reports, the NMLS Policy Committee reduced its extension for filing financial statements and certain other reports from 60 days to 30 days. The revised reporting due date table has also been amended to reflect the new 30-day temporary deadline extension. We do not know the consideration(s) that went into this new decision.

Plus, the NMLS Policy Committee is now encouraging
Continue Reading NMLS Amends Extension to State Reporting Due Dates, as Coronavirus Still Plagues the Land

The next test for mortgage finance companies licensed through the NMLS is the requirement of a number of states to provide financial statements through the NMLS within 90 days of the licensee’s fiscal year end.  We brought this issue to the attention of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) two weeks ago, and this was considered by the NMLS Policy Committee last week. No decision was made at that time, but the Policy Committee agreed to consider the matter further this week. As we understand, after the meeting of the Policy Committee on Tuesday, it was decided that while financial statements are still due, there will be a 60 day grace period to provide the financial statements, and certain other required filings of state licensed entities. Specifically, the NMLS Policy Committee issued the following yesterday:

“In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on state regulated entities, the NMLS Policy Committee has implemented a 60-Day deadline extension for the following types of reporting submitted in NMLS:

  • Money Services Business Call Report
  • Mortgage Call Report
  • Financial Statement


Continue Reading Coronavirus Still Plagues the Land, but State Regulators Step Up and Provide Some Temporary Relief from Certain State Filings

Last week, in a blog entitled “Coronavirus Hits Home,” we informed you that we had contacted the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) and regulators in a number of states to see what CSBS or the state regulators were telling mortgage lender or broker licensees as to whether their licensed MLO employees who had been quarantined in their homes because of the coronavirus (“COVID-19”) could continue to originate mortgage loans from their homes without the home being licensed as a branch office. Since that blog, CSBS has posted certain state-by-state COVID-19 guidance on the NMLS Resource Center, which among other things covers relevant business continuity plans for licensed mortgage loan officers. We urge you to check the NMLS Resource Center and the State Agency websites for the guidance provided.

Since we sent our request to state regulators as to relief from branch licensing for licensed MLOs who are quarantined in their homes, but want to continue to originate mortgage loans, a number of state regulators have responded directly and positively to our email request. As some of the guidance posted on the NMLS website may not cover the branch licensing issue we posed to CSBS and certain other state regulators, we thought it would be helpful to post some of the specific guidance we have received from state regulators that addressed the branch licensing concern raised by our clients.
Continue Reading Coronavirus Hits Hard – Branch Licensing May Be Waived