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    California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation CA-DFPI

    Check state agency website for further information: California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

    Mortgage Loan Originators

    A mortgage loan originator is an individual who, for compensation or gain, or in the expectation of compensation or gain, takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan.

    A residential mortgage loan means any loan primarily for personal, family or household use that is secured by a mortgage, deed of trust, or other equivalent consensual security interest on a dwelling which contains 1 to 4 residential units. Dwelling includes an individual condominium unit, cooperative unit, mobile home and trailer if it is used as a residence.

    Any person who provides services as a mortgage loan originator (MLO) in California under the California Finance Law (CFL) or the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) must apply for and receive a mortgage loan originator license. The MLO must also be employed by and sponsored by a Department of Financial Protection and Innovation licensee under the CFL or CRMLA.

    For more information, please visit About Mortgage Loan Originators.

    The MLO license must be renewed each year between November 1 and December 31. MLOs must continue to meet all criminal, financial and background requirements at all times. FBI checks and credit checks may be required at renewal. All applicants must apply for a license through the NMLS by filing a Form MU4 and receiving a sponsorship by a company holding a valid unique identifier with NMLS and which is licensed by the California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation.

     (More Details)

    Company Licenses:

    Requirements for CFLL and CRMLA Licensed Companies
    Bonding Requirements:

    CFLL lender and/or broker licensees who originate residential mortgage loans are required to maintain a surety bond that covers the activities of the MLOs they employ. The bond amount will be based on the amount of origination activities conducted by the licensee in the preceding calendar year.  See CFL bonding requirement (Surety Bond Requirements paragraph) .

    CRMLA licensees who make and/or service residential mortgage loans will be required to maintain a surety bond that covers the activities of the MLOs they employ. The bond amount will be based on the amount of origination and/or servicing activities conducted by the licensee in the preceding calendar year  (See CRMLA bonding requirement (Surety Bond Requirements paragraph).

    Net worth requirement:

    CFLL lenders that make residential mortgage loans must maintain a minimum net worth of $250,000. See CFL net worth requirement for more details (Net Worth Requirements paragraph) .

    There is no change to the CRMLA tangible net worth requirement for CRMLA licensees.  (See CRMLA tangible net worth requirement for more details( Net Worth Requirements paragraph).

    MLO Change of Sponsorship fee:

    This fee is incurred each time a company requests to sponsor a mortgage loan originator’s (MLO) license. This fee is a “per agency/per license” fee of $30.

    How do I file in NMLS if I am a CFLL or CRMLA sole proprietor?

    A sole proprietor will always have a dual role in NMLS and require two accounts in NMLS with two login names and passwords.

    • NMLS treats sole proprietors as “companies” and requires the completion of a Form MU1.  Thus, the sole proprietor will likely need access as an Account Administrator or a Company User to the “company’s” Form MU1.
    • The sole proprietor will also be identified as a Control Person and requires the completion of a Form MU2.  Therefore, the sole proprietor will need to create an Individual Account for themselves as an individual person.

    If a sole proprietor is also required to hold an individual license (e.g. loan originator license), they do not need another NMLS account.  Their individual record in NMLS can be used to make both Form MU2 and Form MU4 filings.  Additional information can be found on the NMLS website.