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Mortgage Licensees Growing

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The number of mortgage licenses in the national registry has grown each quarter this year, and much of the growth was concentrated in three states. Suspensions were extraordinarily high in Pennsylvania, though Texas and Utah were also active in this area.

Individuals who are registered in the system closed out the third quarter at 113,352, up from the second quarter’s 106,881. The total, which reflects unique registrants, was just 100,098 in the first quarter.

The data was reported by the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System.

A variety of potential factors could be impacting the growth, according to Patton Boggs LLP Partner John Socknat. This includes a growing number of states that are transitioning to NMLS.

But another possible factor is the exit by some big players from various origination channels.

“With many of the banks exiting the industry in some fashion — shedding their wholesale or correspondent channels, for example — that creates more opportunity for startups,” Socknat explained.

One other factor influencing the increase is the erosion of pre-emption for bank subsidiaries as a result of provisions in the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010. The provisions have forced them to either move operations back into the banks or get subsidiaries licensed in states where subsidiaries are not exempt.

Factoring in DBAs and multiple licenses through different authorities, the NMLS report indicated that individual licenses totaled 216,531 during the most recent period — almost two licenses held for each individual.

The state with the biggest increase was Florida, which saw its ranks soar to 12,156 from 8,073. The number of licensees jumped to 33,460 from 31,645 in California, and Texas had 12,910 registrants compared to the previous quarter’s 12,070.

Other states to report strong growth included Colorado, with 5,237 registrants versus 4,881; Illinois, which climbed to 7,064 from 6,640; Michigan, at 4,363 versus 3,986; New Jersey, where the number grew to 7,778 from 7,341; and Washington’s 7,716, rising from 7,325.

Companies registered in the NMLS database climbed to 16,776 from the second quarter’s 16,153 and were greater than the 14,980 in the first quarter. Including multiple licenses, there were 32,473 licensees in the registry.

The number of companies in Florida grew to 1,594 from the second quarter’s 1,154, while Texas saw its total rise to 1,522 from 1,475 and California companies expanded to 6,514 from 6,207.

Branch licensees were 18,466 in the third quarter, up from 17,387 three months earlier and 15,957 a year earlier. Factoring in multiple licenses, the third quarter total was 28,322.

Individuals who saw their licenses suspended in Pennsylvania last quarter numbered a whopping 168. Texas suspended 94 individual licenses, and 27 were suspended in Utah.

In Massachusetts, 11 companies saw their licenses suspended during the third quarter. Washington trailed with two company suspensions.

Three Wisconsin firms saw their licenses revoked, while revocations totaled two each in California, Rhode Island and Washington.

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