CSBS committee backs push to extend remote work for mortgage pros

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Regulators should maintain temporary flexibility in licensing rules for mortgage professionals, a Conference of State Bank Supervisors committee chair said in a letter Friday.

"If you have provided a public notice of flexibility or no action, consider whether that notice is scheduled or likely to expire in the coming weeks or months, and where possible, extend the expiration," Deborah Hagen, chair of the CSBS Non-Depository Supervisory Committee, recommended in the letter.

Hagen said in her letter that the full NDSC committee voted to make the recommendation based on several considerations, including the time needed for businesses to minimize the risk of coronavirus infections for their employees. The letter also recommends states consider allowing more permanent flexibility for situations in which data security can be maintained.

Many states currently have temporary work-from-home guidance for licensed mortgage professionals that extends through at least Dec. 31 in line with Mortgage Bankers Association recommendations, but a shrinking number of them have been sticking to fall expiration dates.

Hawaii and West Virginia, for example, have been sticking with Sept. 30 and Oct. 1 deadlines, respectively, even as other states like Arkansas and Kansas have pushed what were more near-term expiration dates out to the end of the year.

Many companies have invested heavily in digital mortgage operations to address risks posed by the coronavirus and have asked states to build more permanent remote flexibilities into their work policies.

The uncertainty surrounding return-to-office plans is a broad concern for many financial and professional services businesses, according to a recent Arizent survey.

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State regulators CSBS Work from home Licenses and charters Originations Mortgage Bankers Association Coronavirus Digital Mortgage 2020 Data security