State Law Update: Several States Alter Mortgage and Other Consumer Finance Laws

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CSBS and NMLS Issue New Forms for Expanded Use of Registry. On April 16, the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the National Mortgage License and Registry System (NMLS) issued new licensing forms to support the CSBS’s previously announced plans to expand the use of NMLS to include nonbank, non-mortgage financial service providers. With the issuance of the new forms, the NMLS announced that 11 states have committed to requiring non-mortgage financial services institutions to begin using the NMLS this year, with Washington, Vermont, and Rhode Island as the most recent to provide transition plans. The other states include theDistrict of Columbia,Idaho,Louisiana,Maryland,Massachusetts,New Hampshire,Oklahoma,Tennessee, andPennsylvania.

Nebraska Expands NMLS Use and Alters Mortgage Licensing. On April 5, Nebraska enacted Legislative Bill 965 to require and provide for the transition of the state’s manual licensing of installment loan companies to licensing through the NMLS. This change will take effect beginning January 2013. The law also amends the Residential Mortgage Licensing Act to, among other things (i) update and add certain exemptions for mortgage banker and mortgage loan originator licensing requirements, and (ii) adjust the powers of the Department of Banking and Finance to administer the mortgage banker and loan originator licensing process.

Kentucky Enacts Numerous Bills Impacting Mortgages and Vehicle Finance. On April 11, Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear signed several bills impacting consumer lending. House Bill 417 makes a variety of amendments impacting motor vehicle installment contracts, including, among other things, (i) altering the form and required content of retail installment contracts, (ii) adjusting the permissible delinquency and collection charge on an installment in arrears for a period of 10 or more days, (iii) creating a safe harbor for retail installment contracts that satisfy the requirements of the Truth in Lending Act, and (iv) making various amendments regarding retail installment sales that are precomputed.

House Bill 62 and House Bill 396 relate to foreclosures. The former requires a mortgage holder to file a deed in lieu of foreclosure with the county clerk within 45 days of the instrument’s execution and allows for a penalty in the form of a violation of law for any mortgage holder who fails to do so. The bill also exempts filing deeds in lieu of foreclosures from the state’s transfer tax on property as well as the voluntary surrender under a mortgage in lieu of a foreclosure proceeding. The latter relates to an expedited sale mechanism for foreclosures involving vacant and abandoned real property and amends the offense of defrauding a secured creditor to add situations where collateral is intentionally damaged.

Finally, House Bill 409, among other things, exempts from most laws and regulations applicable to mortgage loan companies and brokers persons other than natural persons that originate four or fewer mortgage loans per year and do not hold themselves out to be primarily in the mortgage loan business, while House Bill 533 prohibits private transfer fees.

Oregon Establishes Foreclosure Mediation Process. On April 11, Oregon established a foreclosure mediation process when it enacted Senate Bill 1552. The law requires that a beneficiary (i) enter into mediation with a grantor for the purpose of negotiating a foreclosure avoidance measure and (ii) notify a grantor if they are not eligible for any foreclosure avoidance measure or if the grantor has not complied with the terms of a foreclosure avoidance measure. The new law details the form for notices required under the new process and establishes potential penalties for a beneficiary failing to comply with the new procedures. The bill took effect on April 11, with most of the new requirements becoming operative 91 days after the effective date.

Maryland Alters Mortgage Licensing Exemptions, Expands Commissioner’s Enforcement Power. On April 10, Maryland enacted Senate Bill 302, which removes the mortgage licensing exemption for a person who makes three or fewer mortgage loans per calendar year and brokers no more than one mortgage loan per calendar year. The law also expands the authority of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation to investigate and enforce state law with regard to a subsidiary or affiliate of an institution over which the Commissioner has jurisdiction. The law becomes effective on January 1, 2013.

Colorado Amends Foreclosure Law. On April 12, Colorado passed a law amending administrative procedures under its foreclosure law. Pursuant to Senate Bill 30, effective September 1, 2012 counties must (i) notify a homeowner during the foreclosure process that they may be due money if excess funds are obtained through the sale of their foreclosed property, (ii) attempt to locate the homeowner and notify them of excess funds obtained from the public auction of their foreclosed property, and (iii) turn excess funds over to the state treasurer if the homeowner cannot be located. The state will hold the funds in perpetuity, allowing a homeowner to claim the funds at any time. Under existing law, counties are not required to conduct any initial outreach and can retain for themselves any money not claimed within five years of the sale.

 

Published In: Administrative Agency Updates, Consumer Protection Updates, Finance & Banking Updates, Residential Real Estate Updates

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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