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Maryland Originators Face Deadline

Maryland Originators Face Deadline

Just 3,300 of estimated 12,000 apps submitted

October 13, 2006

By PATRICK CROWLEY

photo of Patrick Crowley
Thousands of mortgage originators in Maryland may be prohibited from doing business come January due to an expected rush of license applications — far more than the state may be able to process.Joseph Rooney has tried just about everything — letters, radio, newspaper articles and phone calls.

And still, with less than two months until the deadline, only about 3,300 of the estimated 12,000 mortgage loan officers who do business in Maryland have applied for the state license that will be required after the first of the year.

“I’m concerned,” Rooney, deputy commissioner for financial regulation at the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, said in an interview with MortgageDaily.com.

“We do have a very large staff set up to do this, but if it all comes in at the end of the year we will definitely not get the licenses out on time,” Rooney said.

That means loan officers not licensed by the Jan. 1 deadline could lose income while waiting for their applications, which include a criminal check, to be processed.

“We’re trying to get the message out,” Rooney said. “The criminal background check alone takes six, eight, up to 10 weeks. And that’s outside of my control.

“We know we’re going to get complaints [from people who missed the deadline], so we’re trying to get the message out that this is serious and it is going to happen Jan. 1,” he said.

The state already licenses mortgage brokers. The legislature passed a law regulating loan officers “to help us track those who should not be in the industry,” Rooney said.

“It’s good consumer protection,” he said. “It is added regulation and burden, but that’s the tradeoff.”

Rooney stressed that any loan officers doing business in Maryland, even those not located in the state, but apply and receive a license.

Rooney said the state has used letters, news media stories, radio programs, industry newsletters and more to contact loan officers and remind them to apply.

“Those letters went to employers because we don’t know who the loan officers are,” he said. “We rely on the employers to … get the information to their employees.”

Information about the licenses can be found at www.dllr.state.md.us.


Patrick Crowley is a feature journalist and blogger for MortgageDaily.com. He is also a reporter, blogger and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
e-mail Patrick at: PatCrowley@MortgageDaily.com

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