During the final three months of 2013, the number of state-licensed and federally registered loan originators ascended. But a decline is likely to follow.
The real estate finance industry finished last year with 529,127 mortgage loan originators who were registered through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System.
Loan originator count increased from the third quarter of last year, when 525,207 originators were registered with the NMLS.
The data was reported by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors.
As of the end of 2012, NMLS registrations totaled 513,898.
Since registrations remain active through the end of the year even when originators leave the business at some earlier point in the year, the numbers increase each quarter within a given year.
But if mortgage employment numbers are any indication, the upcoming first-quarter 2014 report could show a sharp decline as registrations expire.
Included in the Dec. 31, 2013, total were 130,260 originators who maintained 331,293 state licenses and 404,423 financial institution originators in the federal registry.
The combined total was reduced by 5,556 to reflect originators who maintained both a state license and a federal NMLS registration.
State registrations in both North Dakota and South Dakota more than doubled last year.
Alabama revoked the licenses of 15 originators, and four Illinois licenses were revoked.
The report indicated that 16,145 companies maintained 34,994 state licenses as of Dec. 31, 2013.
There were also 19,881 company branches that maintained 38,520 state licenses.
In Illinois, 17 company licenses were revoked during the final three months of last year, while that number was four in Virginia. New Jersey suspended the licenses of five companies.
NMLS had 10,845 financial institutions registered as of the most recent date, including 108 that also maintained state registrations.
A majority of loan originators in the federal registry — 227,037 — were employed by 1,713 banks regulated by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Another 81,544 were employed by 4,163 Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.-regulated banks, and the Federal Reserve Board supervised 808 banks that employed 43,753 originators.
In addition, 51,403 registered originators were employed by 4,098 National Credit Union Administration-regulated institutions, and 1,686 worked for 63 institutions regulated by the Farm Credit Administration.