By Trish Lagodzinski
The Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (“NMLS”) is the system of record for non-depository, financial services licensing or registration for participating state agencies, including the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. For participating jurisdictions, NMLS is the official system for companies and individuals seeking to apply for, amend, renew and surrender licenses managed through NMLS by state or territorial governmental agencies. NMLS itself does not grant or deny license authority.
NMLS is also the system of record for the registration of depositories, subsidiaries of depositories, and Mortgage Loan Originators (“MLOs”) under the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Regulation G Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (”SAFE Act”), published December 19, 2011.
NMLS was created by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (“CSBS”) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (“AARMR”), and began operations in January 2008 specifically for registration of depositories, subsidiaries of depositories, and Mortgage Loan Originators (“MLOs”). It is owned and operated by the State Regulatory Registry LLC (“SRR”), a wholly owned subsidiary of CSBS.
The goal of NMLS is to employ the benefits of local, state-based financial services regulation on a nationwide platform that provides for improved coordination and information sharing among regulators, increased efficiencies for industry, and enhanced consumer protection.
Each state maintains its unique license requirements and protocols. As the states start to use the system, each state agency will communicate details about using NMLS and the requirements for transitioning licenses onto NMLS, directly to the affected licensees.
New applicants are directed to the NMLS system for application guidelines and checklists, in addition to, the states’ own websites.
In April 2012, the NMLS expanded its system to accommodate other financial service providers. As a result, state agencies are allowed to use the system to license a wide range of non-depository, financial services providers, and money services businesses (MSBs) including money transmitters, payday lenders, check cashers, consumer finance companies, currency exchangers, and debt collectors.