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N.Y. Financial Services Regulator to Streamline Mortgage Licensing

JUN 5, 2014 4:54pm ET
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New York's banking regulator said Thursday that he intends to simplify state requirements for obtaining a mortgage banking license.

"We undertook a top-to-bottom review and found a number of areas where we could dramatically improve the speed and efficiency of our mortgage licensing process—without sacrificing vital consumer protections," said Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent for Financial Services, in a June 5 press release.

The announcement comes two weeks after Lawsky said in a speech to the Mortgage Bankers Association that he intended to streamline his department's procedures for reviewing mortgage licenses.

Included among the changes is a modification to the state exam requirement. Beginning on Sept. 2, the Financial Services Department will require applicants to pass the Uniform State Test, a standardized test that combines national and state testing requirements. This will replace the current state-specific exam.

The department also made changes to the application procedures for transitional licenses. Loan originators looking to move to New York from out of state will be able to apply for a license before they have a new job. Applicants were previously required to prove employment at a licensed New York firm before applying for an originators license.

Additionally, the department will now accept applications via email, as well as by a secure electronic file transfer system. They have also created several new email addresses for fielding applicants' questions.

Guidebooks for applying for and maintaining a mortgage banking license will be available on the Department of Financial Services website in the coming weeks.

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