The Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators launched a Web-based mortgage licensing system on Jan. 2, as promised, with the initial participation of seven states.Four years in the making, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System is designed to automate and streamline state licensing of mortgage lenders and brokers. It will also help regulators track and identify bad actors, including originators that move from state to state. "NMLS provides the underpinnings of a regulatory framework to address the weaknesses of our current fragmented and complex system of mortgage origination and supervision," said CSBS executive vice president John Ryan. Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York, and Rhode Island are participating in the initial start-up. Forty other states have indicated their intent to transition to the system. The House recently passed a predatory-lending bill (H.R. 3915) that requires the creation of a nationwide mortgage licensing system and registry.

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