Reverse mortgage brokers will have to prove they have paid their bills and avoided foreclosure and bankrutpcy if they hope to do business in Florida reports the Orlando Sentinel.
Joining many other parts of the country, the state of Florida has instituted new rules aimed at weeding out home-loan professionals who have personal financial problems or criminal records.
“You can be a doctor, a lawyer or a congressmen with less scrutiny than a mortgage originator right now,” said Tim Mattingly, president of United Mortgage Partners of Orlando. “A lot of this is overdue, but a lot of it, like the mortgage industry itself, is overdone. The pendullum has swung much too far, and it’s going to take a while for things to settle down.”
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation is expecting a surge in applications with the first deadline on July 8th.
“I have fielded many a phone call myself from people concerned about the credit report and what the criteria is going to be — concerned about whether they stay in this business,” said Greg Oaks, bureau chief in charge of licensing for the agency. “There are people who call frequently; I hear some say, ‘I have this kind of problem in my criminal background — do you think I can get the license?’ There are a lot of people out there who are certainly concerned about this and what the future holds.”
Previously, mortgage brokers and lenders had to pass criminal background checks only when they initially applied for a license. Now their arrest record will be checked annually and, for the first time, their personal finances will be reviewed.
Starting Oct. 1, Florida will join the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, and all loan originators, brokers and lenders will then have until the end of the year to reapply for a license under the more-stringent rules. Also, mortgage-related operators who have been working legally without a license must now have one; they have until July 8 to apply.
Last week , Gov. Charlie Crist and the Cabinet agreed to publish the proposed financial criteria for the mortgage industry. While bankruptcies, outstanding bills and foreclosures may be enough to cost a broker his or her license, state officials say they will look at applicants’ entire circumstances. To learn more about the requirements check out the link below.