Reverse mortgage loan officers in Arizona are now required to be licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions, but regulators are working through a backlog of applications and those who haven’t been approved can’t write loans reports the Arizona Star.
In order to become licensed in Arizona, loans officers need to take classes, pass exams, and undergo credit and criminal-background checks, said Lauren Kingry, the department’s superintendent.
“Basically, we’re in limbo,” said Frank Ceizyk, who works for Fairway Independent Mortgage. Ceizyk said he has worked as a loan officer for 18 years, and submitted his initial application May 11. Until it processes, he’s not able to originate any loans, even with customers he’s worked with for years, he said.
At the end of last week, the Department of Financial Institutions had 1,356 applications it still needed to review, Kingry said in an e-mail.
While the new laws are meant to ensure the people originating the loans are educated, not everyone needs to be licensed to do business in the state. Mike Manfredi, a reverse mortgage originator in Arizona writes “the law fails to remove even one bad apple from originating loans in the state because banks are contacting brokers to offer them jobs as an unlicensed loan officer.”
Manfredi was contacted as well and was told “there were no requirements,” to join the bank. “I just needed to have a desire to be employed by them and could have had a track record of loan fraud that would’ve been disregarded.”