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SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008

In July, Congress passed H.R. 3221, the "Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008," in response to the challenges facing the real estate market, Along with the more publicized portions of the Act that provide tax benefits for selected home purchases and authorization for a takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the Act also significantly alters mortgage licensee regulation in the United States.

Title V of the Act is the S.A.F.E. Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE). SAFE was developed by policy makers as they searched for the cause of the challenges facing the United States economy, particularly the housing market. Among the many causes, policy makers targeted oversight of loan originators.

While Utah regulates mortgage brokers with background checks, pre-licensing education, testing, and enforcement actions against bad actors, few other states protected the public as well. SAFE requires licensing according to minimum federal standards and calls for a more coordinated effort among the states in regulating mortgage loan originators.

All mortgage licensees need to understand that SAFE will impact your license or license renewal process over the next couple of years. The Division of Real Estate is actively working to implement the mandates in SAFE with as little impact on you as possible. This article summarizes some of the key provisions of the Act.

Conference of State Bank Supervisors: SAFE information (Act language, summaries of Act and Mandates, and implementation)

New NMLS Emergency Rule: Adjusted License Terms (effective 12/08/2008)

New Proposed rule R162-202 Initial Application