DFPI Bulletin Digest: September 2021

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The September 2021 DFPI newsletter focuses on reporting requirements for mortgage agents, new rules for NMLS and PACE transition administrators and debt collector’s license, among other topics.

Editor’s Note – The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI), formerly the Department of Business Supervision) supervises, authorizes and regulates a variety of financial institutions, including certain originators of real estate mortgages (MLOs) holding a National Multi-State (or Mortgage) Registry and License System (NMLS) Licence. Along with the California Department of Real Estate (DRE), the DFPI shares responsibility for overseeing MLOs based on their license usage.

License holders, stay up to date with MLO news and events for September 2021 below.

Mandatory reporting requirements for mortgage agents

The DFPI will soon require licensees who manage residential mortgages, either directly or through sub-contractors, to provide information on the steps they are taking to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Department is particularly interested in how licensees:

  • filter borrowers for potential eligibility for state and federal foreclosure assistance;
  • plan to comply with loss mitigation conditions; and
  • assess the magnitude of foreclosure risk among the loans they serve.

The main focus of DFPI in documenting these procedures is consumer education. Licensees should inform vulnerable consumers of available and forthcoming assistance programs for delinquent mortgage borrowers. The newsletter highlights an upcoming federal program, the Homeowner Assistance Fund, as a particularly important mortgage relief tool to ensure that more Californians have access to assistance.

As part of its outreach efforts, DFPI has also launched a multi-pronged education and communication campaign. Consumers and licensees alike will find useful information about the new Lockout protection resource page. More information tailored to California homeowners is available on the state website Housing is the key website.

New rules for NMLS transition and PACE administrators

New regulations under the California Financing Act (CFL) will come into force on October 1, 2021. In general, the new regulations require:

  • all new CFL license applications must be submitted through the NMLS;
  • all licensees who are not yet using NMLS will switch to NMLS by December 31, 2021; and
  • Administrators of the PACE program must comply with the new regulations.

For more information, the DFPI published the final text of the regulations and the final statement of reasons available on its website.

The NMLS provides state specific checklists to help new candidates and license holders in transition on NMLS, and Faq for advice on transitioning from a license to NMLS. Further questions can be directed to [email protected] or (866) 275-2677.

Request for assistance to areas affected by forest fires in California

Acting Commissioner Christopher S. Shultz Encourages Lenders and Service Providers to Offer Flexibility to Homeowners Affected by Recent California Crisis forest fires in Alpine, Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties.

This encouragement includes the modification or restructuring of disaster loans. Such efforts to extend flexibility to owners will not be criticized by the commissioner or the examiners. Several disasters aid programs exist to help affected individuals, businesses, farmers and communities recover.

Virtual office hours for Office of Financial Technology Innovation

If you are developing a new financial product or service, the Office of Financial Technology Innovation (OFTI) wants to hear from you!

OFTI announced the start of Virtual office hours Tuesdays 9 a.m. to 10 a.m. PST. Those interested are invited to come during these office hours with the deputy commissioner of OFTI, Christina Tetreault. Registration is required and meetings will last 20 minutes and will be conducted on a first come, first served basis.

There are many advantages to meeting the OFTI directly, including:

  • share your business experience in your own words;
  • request information, such as a presentation to a Ministry subject matter expert; and
  • make sure your regulator understands your organization’s goals.

Those interested can register in advance here. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing the meeting information.

Impossible to do office hours? You can schedule a meeting with Christina by sending an email to [email protected] or by using the contact form on OFTI Web page.

DFPI’s second round of grants supports financial education

DFPI recipients announced of the second round of CalMoneySmart Grants to support financial education and empowerment programs for unbanked consumers in California on September 13, 2021. CalMoneySmart grant recipients who received grants in the first round of funding used the funding to create coaching programs financial, financial education program and provide financial services aimed at unbanked households throughout California.

DFPI Acting Commissioner Christopher S. Shultz and Agency Secretary for Business, Consumer Services and Housing Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez participated in a virtual event featuring two grant recipients, Protée inc. of Visalia and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, San Francisco Chapter. Watch the full event here!

Debt Collection License Now Available at NMLS

All debt collectors, debt buyers and collection attorneys operating in California can now submit their online license applications via the NMLS. This represents the first step in heightened state oversight that will include an assessment of claims, formal reviews and protections for California consumers.

The Debt Collection License Act (DCLA) requires all debt collectors to apply for a license by January 1, 2022 and empowers DFPI to accept borrower complaints and enforce violations. It helps consumers by centralizing information on business licenses and application histories.

Note that although the DCLA sets the licensing, regulation, and oversight of debt collectors, persons licensed under the California Financing Act, Residential Mortgage Act (RMLA), or Real Estate Act are exempt from DCLA licensing requirements.

This is a summary of the DFPI newsletter from September 2021! To learn more about the topics mentioned here, read the full newsletter on the DFPI website.


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