Governor signs Richardville mortgage reform legislation
LANSING-The governor today signed a bipartisan legislative package that will help address problems within the mortgage industry by individually registering loan officers, said Sen. Randy Richardville, sponsor of the reform plan.
“Homeowners across Michigan are struggling to make their house payments for many different reasons,” said Richardville, R-Monroe, chair of the Senate Banking and Financial Institutions Committee. “Lawmakers want to make sure that irresponsible or unscrupulous lenders are not causing more problems. This legislation will target the few bad actors who are conducting fraudulent mortgage transactions in Michigan.”
The bills seek to ensure responsibility through accountability by requiring mortgage loan officers to register with the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation (OFIR), formerly known as Office of Financial and Insurance Services.
Richardville’s Senate Bill 826, now Public Act 64, creates a seven-member Mortgage Industry Advisory Board. The board will make recommendations to the OFIR commissioner on loan officer educational courses, requirements and procedures and will review policies for the loan officer registration process.
Richardville also sponsored Senate Bill 827, now Public Act 65, which is a technical measure that revises the sentencing guidelines for mortgage loan officers.
Other measures within the package, Public Acts 59-64 and 66-72:
- Create educational and application requirements for becoming a registered loan officer;
- Develop standards for the registration renewal process, including continuing education;
- Require employers to conduct a criminal records check on mortgage loan officers;
- Specify prohibited loan officer conduct;
- Set penalties for loan officers who violate the law;
- Prohibit a mortgage broker or lender from paying a commission to unregistered loan officers;
- Identify OFIR responsibilities and investigation criteria; and
- Establish the loan officer registration calendar year as Jan. 1 to Dec. 31.
“One of my top priorities as a state senator has been to address some of the challenges in the mortgage industry,” Richardville said. “I have been working on this legislation since last fall, and I am pleased that it is now state law. Homeowners can be assured that their mortgage loan officer is qualified to conduct loan transactions.”
Michigan has more than 30,000 loan officers conducting business in the state.
Posted: Tuesday, April 08, 2008
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