We are pleased to announce that NMLS-approved SAFE mortgage originator test components – both the national and the Maryland component – are now available for enrollment and scheduling. The first test appointments for the Maryland component will be available on October 22nd. The national component has been available since July 30, 2009. Registration is now open and we recommend that originators register now in order to be able to take the test in October.
Effective January 1, 2010, applicants for a NEW Maryland Mortgage Loan Originator License will be required to complete the test PRIOR to licensure.
Prior to January 1, 2010, the Commissioner of Financial Regulation will grant conditional approval with the requirement that the test be completed on or before January 1, 2010.
Applicants who were exempt from licensure prior to July 1, 2009 and who applied for a NEW Mortgage Loan Originator License with Interim status will have until July 31, 2010 to complete the testing requirement.
Existing licensees as of July 1, 2009 will transition to NMLS in conjunction with the renewal of their license and have until December 31, 2010 to complete the testing requirement.
Please note that HUD recently issued guidance (FAQs) that addresses the issue of grandfathering existing licensees in connection with the testing requirement, as follows:
Question: May a state’s SAFE legislation contain a grandfathering provision allowing mortgage brokers and others who have engaged in the business of originating loans for an extended period of time meet the SAFE Act’s testing and education requirements by some alternative means?
Answer: “No. The SAFE Act does not allow alternative methods for meeting the testing and education requirements.”
Based on this guidance, ALL existing Mortgage Loan Originator licensees as of July 1, 2009 must complete the testing requirement by December 31, 2010