What is the SAFE Act and NMLS?
Following the economic crises of 2008, the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act)
was established to increase uniformity, reduce regulatory burden, enhance consumer protection, and reduce fraud. To reach this end a Nationwide Mortgage
Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) was established to provide uniform license applications and reporting, comprehensive supervision, work flow among
regulators, enhanced consumer protection, consumer access to information, and other measures designed to reduce fraud and protect the consumer. This will
impact all licensed mortgage officers and affect in some degree how they maintain their licenses.
Who must license?
According to Utah law, and now Federal law, any individual, company, company branch, or DBA (whether physically located
in Utah or not) that transacts the "business of residential mortgage loans" in Utah must register and/or obtain a license from the Division.
For a simple chart showing what you must do and when see: Safe: 2009 and 2010 Changes.
"Business of residential mortgage loans" is defined in statute as: 1) originating a residential mortgage loan; 2) directly or indirectly
soliciting, placing, or negotiating a residential mortgage loan; or 3) rendering services related to the origination or funding of a residential mortgage
loan, including taking applications, obtaining verifications and appraisals, and communicating with the borrower and lender. (Utah Code §61-2c-102)
Who is exempt from licensing?
A license is not required for the following individuals who give an opinion regarding the value of real estate (but an opinion of value may not be referred to as an "appraisal"):
- A licensed real estate Broker or Sales Agent who gives an opinion of value in the ordinary course of business.
- An employee of a company who gives an opinion of value solely for the company’s use.
- Any government official or employee acting within their scope of duties.
- An auditor or accountant who gives an opinion of value while performing an audit.
- An individual who gives an opinion of value for property in which the individual has an ownership interest.
- An individual who gives an opinion of value for which no consideration is paid and upon which no other party is reasonably expected to rely.
- An individual, such as a researcher or secretary, who does not provide significant professional assistance at arriving at analysis, opinion, or conclusion.
- An attorney authorized to practice law in Utah who uses an appraisal report or who states an opinion of value in the ordinary course of business.