Georgia Exempts Manufactured Home Retailers/Brokers from Mortgage Broker Licensing

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Bradley Arant Boult Cummings LLPEffective July 1, 2019, Georgia House Bill 212 will affirmatively exempt retailers or retail brokers of manufactured or mobile homes from the state’s “mortgage broker” definition under Ga. Code Ann. § 7-1-1000. The bill specifically exempts manufactured housing retailers from mortgage broker licensing requirements, and the oversight that comes with licensure, provided the retailer or retail broker meets certain requirements, as detailed below.

Under the current definition, a “mortgage broker” means “any person who directly or indirectly solicits, processes, places, or negotiates mortgage loans for others, or offers to solicit, process, place, or negotiate mortgage loans for others or who closes mortgage loans which may be in the mortgage broker’s own name with funds provided by others and which loans are assigned within 24 hours of the funding of the loans to the mortgage lenders providing the funding of such loans” (Ga. Code Ann. § 7-1-1000(19)).

Beginning July 1, 2019, the “mortgage broker” definition will exempt a retailer or retail broker of a manufactured or mobile home or a residential industrialized building provided:

  1. The residential mortgage loan activities are limited to compiling and transmitting residential mortgage loan applications along with related supporting documentation to licensed or exempt mortgage lenders or communicating with residential mortgage loan applicants as necessary to obtain such documents; and
  2. The retailer or retail broker does not receive any payment or fee from any person (presumably including both the prospective borrower and the mortgage lender) for assisting the applicant to apply for or obtain financing to purchase the manufactured home, mobile home, or residential industrialized building.

Additionally, the definition will exclude exclusive employees of retailers or retail brokers, provided the employee: (A) is acting within the scope of employment and under the supervision of the retailer or retail broker and not as an independent contractor, and (B) has not faced certain disciplinary action under the Georgia Mortgage Lenders and Mortgage Brokers Article in the past five years.

This change will allow retailers and retail brokers of manufactured homes to assist customers with obtaining financing without worrying about triggering licensing and additional oversight requirements. In streamlining the process, Georgia House Bill 212 should make it easier for customers to obtain the financing required to enter into manufactured housing ownership.

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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