Final SAFE Act Regulations Published

The first of two final steps for implementation of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (the SAFE Act) has been completed. The final regulations are now in place; but we are still waiting for the Registry to open.

FINAL REGULATIONS
On July 28, 2010 the Comptroller of the Currency, Federal Reserve Board, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Thrift Supervision, Farm Credit Administration, and National Credit Union Administration (jointly referred to as the Agencies) published the long awaited final rules that implement the SAFE Act. The SAFE Act requires employees of a bank or other financial institution who acts as mortgage loan originators (MLO) to register with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (Registry), obtain a unique identifier, and maintain this registration.

The final rule also requires financial institutions to adopt written policies and procedures designed to assure their employees who act as MLOs comply with the SAFE Act’s requirements to register and obtain a unique identifier.

The final rule is effective on October 1, 2010. But registration is not required until the Registry begins to accept registrations, and then financial institutions will have 180 days to complete the registration process.

NATIONAL REGISTRY
It is anticipated that the Registry will begin accepting registrations in early 2011. The Agencies will publish an official notice announcing when the Registry is open for business.

WHAT TO DO NOW
1. Get a copy of the regulation and begin studying the requirements. Click here to access the SAFE Act regulations.
2. Attend a training session. Check your state bank association’s website for information on webinars and live programs. (Of course a trainer always suggests training.)
3. Develop written policies and procedures.
4. Determine which of your employees qualify as MLOs.
5. Gather information about your bank and each MLO needed for registration.
6. Wait for the Registry to open.

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