The pace of legislative activity from this year’s current session can make it hard to stay abreast of new laws. The Consumer Finance ABStract’s “Consumer Finance State Roundup” is intended to provide a brief overview of recently enacted measures of potential interest. For this first installation, we are including additional measures enacted during the current legislative session that will take effect in short order:
During this current legislative session, the following five states have enacted measures of potential interest to Consumer Finance ABstract readers:
- Arkansas: Effective July 31, 2023, House Bill 1439 (2023 Ark. Acts 325) amends the Fair Mortgage Lending Act to clarify the sponsorship process and amend licensing requirements. First, the measure defines the term “[s]ponsor” to mean “a mortgage broker or mortgage banker licensed under [the Act] that has assumed the responsibility for and agrees to supervise the actions of a loan officer or transitional loan officer.” Second, the measure clarifies that the termination of a sponsorship of a loan officer or transitional loan officer license under the Act extinguishes the right of that individual to engage in any mortgage loan activity. Finally, the measure amends provisions related to renewal of a loan officer license to change a license status from “approved-inactive” to “approved” so long as, prior to the loan officer license termination, a licensed mortgage broker or mortgage banker meets certain requirements.
- Arkansas: Effective July 31, 2023, Senate Bill 321 (2023 Ark. Acts 360) amends provisions of the Arkansas Code relating to collection agencies. Among other provisions, the measure amends Section 17-24-101 to clarify that the term “collection agency” means any person or entity that “(1) Engages in the collection of delinquent accounts, bills, or other forms of indebtedness owed or due or asserted to be owed or due to another; (2) Uses a fictitious name or any name other than its own to collect their own accounts receivable; (3) Solicits claims for collection; or (4) Purchases and attempts to collect delinquent accounts or bills.”
- Montana: Effective July 1, 2023, House Bill 30 (2023 Mont. Laws 4) amends the Montana Mortgage Act (“Act”) to adopt prudential standards for non-bank mortgage servicers and allow remote work for mortgage loan originators (“MLOs”), among other provisions. First, the measure establishes capital and liquidity requirements for servicers. Second, the measure requires certain entities (that are “covered institutions”) to establish and maintain corporate governance standards, including for internal and external audits and risk management. Third, the measure amends the definition of “mortgage servicer” to add the servicing of forward mortgages and home equity conversion mortgages or reverse mortgages for receiving payments. Fourth, the measure requires a licensee under the Act to have one MLO serve as a designated manager responsible for mortgage origination activity across the entire entity;. Finally, the measure requires a licensee under the Act to file a written report with the Department of Administration within 15 business days after learning of a cybersecurity incident affecting business operations or potentially exposing personal information of customers. For a detailed summary analysis on the measure’s provisions addressing remote work by MLOs, please see our previous post.
- North Dakota: Effective August 1, 2023, Senate Bill 2090 amends the North Dakota Code with respect to the licensing of residential mortgage lenders and money brokers. First, the measure enacts a new Chapter 13-12 of the North Dakota Century Code to address the licensing of residential mortgage lenders. Under current law, mortgage lender licensing falls within the scope of the money broker statutes in Chapter 13-04 of the Code. Second, the measure provides that any residential mortgage lender that holds a valid North Dakota money broker license as of August 1, 2023, will not be required to obtain a residential mortgage lender license under new Section 13-12-03 until December 31, 2023.
- Ohio: Effective December 29, 2023, Senate Bill 131 (2022 Ohio Laws 156) amends mortgage (and other industry) licensing standards to address license reciprocity requirements. Under the Ohio Residential Mortgage Lending Act (Ohio. Rev. Code § 1322.01 et seq.), the measure provides for an applicant to obtain a registration for a mortgage lender or broker or a license for a mortgage loan originator (“MLO”) by reciprocity under Section 1322.10 or Section 1322.21, respectively, of the Ohio Revised Code if the applicant: (i) holds a license or certificate of registration in another state; or (ii) has satisfactory work experience, a government certification, or a private certification (as described in that chapter) as a mortgage broker, mortgage lender, or MLO in a state that does not issue that license or certificate of registration.
- Virginia: Effective July 1, 2023, House Bill 2389 (2023 Va. Acts 573) amends provisions of the Mortgage Lenders and Mortgage Brokers Act (Va. Code Ann. § 6.2-1600 et seq.) to permit licensed mortgage lenders and mortgage brokers to allow employees and exclusive agents to work from a remote location provided that certain criteria are met. Specifically, the measure adds to Section 6.2-1607 a list of conditions that must be met in order for a licensee’s employees to work from a remote location, including that: (a) the licensee has written policies and procedures for the supervision of employees or exclusive agents working from a remote location; (b) access to the licensee’s platforms and customer information through a VPN or comparable system, and is in accordance with the licensee’s comprehensive written information security plan; (b) no in-person customer interaction occurs at an employee’s or exclusive agent’s residence, unless such residence is an approved office; and (d) the licensee employs appropriate risk-based monitoring and oversight processes, and any employee or exclusive agent who works from a remote location must comply with the licensee’s established practice.