Massachusetts just recently passed legislation making additional requirements for prospective licensees. Among those changes were audited financial requirements, increased bond requirements, and other minor changes. This has made it difficult for smaller mortgage brokers to get licensed since they do not have they time or money to complete audited financials. Audited Financials often can cost between $2,000 to $10,000 to complete and weeks of gathering paperwork for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Massachusetts has now passed another bill requiring loan officers to be licensed. Details have not been released about exactly what the timeframes will be for licensing, but with the US Senate looking at a bill to require Loan Officer licensing in every state, we may see more of this soon.
New licensing requirements should be coming out very soon. I am expecting the state of Massachusetts to require fingerprint background checks, tests, continuing education, and a hefty fee between $200 to $300 per Loan Officer.
Massachusetts Senate Passes Homeownership Protection Legislation
The Massachusetts Senate passed House Bill 4306, a bill protecting and preserving home ownership on October 25, 2007. The bill, which the Massachusetts House of Representatives passed on October 18, will be returned to the House for concurrence on Senate amendments.
Highlights of the legislation include:
o New requirement for loan originator licensure;
o 90 day right to cure to borrowers of owner-occupied family homes who default on a mortgage payment;
o Felony or misdemeanor offense for mortgage brokers or lenders operating without a license;
o $3 million appropriation to fund staff at the Division of Banks to implement and enforce mortgage loan originator licensure; and
o $2 million appropriation to fund at least 10 foreclosure education counseling centers through the Division of Banks.
The legislation also offers incentives to lenders to revise adjustable or variable rate home loans to fixed terms.