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A Guide to the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008




For those of who are involved in the mortgage industry, the term SAFE has probably  been used many times. This is because the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act was created in order to create minimum regulation and licensing requirements within the mortgage industry.

Back in 2008

Some may remember back in 2008 when the economy fell to a drastic low all around. Part of the economic crash was the mortgage meltdown in 2008. The mortgage crisis actually started in 2007, but did not reach the devastating capacity until early 2008.

As a response to the 2008 meltdown, the federal government established the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act, or SAFE Act. This act set up basic standards within the mortgage industry in order for an individual to qualify for a license. The act’s main goal is to reduce fraud and increase consumer protection through strict licensing regulations.

What exactly does the SAFE Act do?

SAFE enhances consumer protection and reduces fraud by requiring every aspect of the mortgage industry to be regulated.  Residential loan originators must be licensed and bonded while also being state-licensed or federally registered. Also, mortgage loan originators must complete pre-licensing classes as well as pass a licensing test. Mortgage loan companies must also complete educational courses, continue education, and pass background checks.

Back in 2008, SAFE allowed the federal government to give states up to 1 year to pass mortgage loan originator licensing laws. Also, states themselves had up to 1 year to be registered by the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS).

SAFE encourages all states to set up and enforce registration and licensing requirements. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (AARMR) promotes a nationwide mortgage licensing system and registration for the residential mortgage industry. The specific licensing requirements can be found on the NMLS page .




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