Department of Financial Institutions
Online Tool Provides Information on Mortgage Lenders
FRANKFORT, Ky. (Jan. 26, 2010) – Kentucky consumers considering a mortgage now have a new online resource to make sure their lender is licensed.
The Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) today announced the launch of “NMLS Consumer Access.” Available at www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org, NMLS Consumer Access is a searchable Web site that allows the public to view information concerning state-licensed mortgage companies, branches and individuals currently licensed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS). DFI was one of the first seven state regulators to join the NMLS in 2008.
“When you are shopping for the best mortgage loan, an important step is to make sure the lenders you consider are properly licensed,” said Nicole Biddle, DFI Nondepository Division director. “With a quick search on NMLS Consumer Access, you can find out the current license status of the company as well as the registration status and employment history of the loan officer. In order to be registered, your loan officer must complete mortgage education, pass testing and be familiar with current law.”
The goal of NMLS Consumer Access is to provide homebuyers and the general public with greater information regarding state-licensed companies and professionals in the mortgage industry. NMLS Consumer Access benefits consumers by providing a single location to access standardized information regarding mortgage providers, regardless of the state in which they operate.
“The launch of NMLS Consumer Access is another way that state financial supervisors are working to protect consumers,” said DFI Commissioner Charles Vice. “This central information source promotes greater transparency throughout the states.”
State regulators, through the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators, launched NMLS in January 2008. To date, 45 states and territories – including Kentucky – license mortgage companies, branches and individuals through the system. All 50 states and territories are expected to be on NMLS by the end of 2010.
In addition, Title V of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, The SAFE Act, mandates that NMLS provide consumers with easily accessible information, offered at no charge, regarding the employment history of state-licensed and federally registered mortgage loan originators.
Kentucky DFI oversees more than 500 companies and 2,200 individuals who originate mortgage loans. DFI licenses, examines and, when necessary, investigates each of these. Consumers who don’t have Internet access, or who would like to file a complaint or report fraud, can call DFI at 800-223-2579. DFI also maintains consumer credit help information online at www.kfi.ky.gov/public/credit.html.
DFI is an agency in the Public Protection Cabinet. It supervises the financial services industry by examining, chartering, licensing and registering various financial institutions, securities firms and professionals operating in Kentucky. DFI’s mission is to serve Kentucky residents and protect their financial interests by maintaining a stable financial industry, continuing effective and efficient regulatory oversight, promoting consumer confidence, and encouraging economic opportunities.