The SAFE Act's Unlevel Playing Field

Mortgage Banking Magazine
10 minute read | July.01.2010

In the nearly two years since Congress passed the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (commonly known as SAFE), the one known truth may be this: Blessed are those who hold a bank charter. SAFE requires national licensing and registration of individual mortgage loan originators, and was intended to bring greater uniformity of regulation of loan officer employees of banks, mortgage lenders, and mortgage brokers by bringing all loan originators on to a common regulatory platform. But two years on, non-depository mortgage companies are finding achievement of this goal is not only elusive but unlikely, given that implementation of SAFE is resulting in substantially unequal regulation among industry members.

Making matters worse is the Department of Housing and Urban Development's (HUD's) proposed SAFE Act rulemaking, which further expands the scope of SAFE (and its applicability to mortgage banking personnel) for non-depository mortgage companies, compared with their depository counterparts.

Copyright 2010 Mortgage Banking Magazine, reprinted with permission.