To: Certain Licensed Mortgage Loan Originators
From: Massachusetts Division of Banks
Date: March 10, 2010
Subject: SAFE Compliant Certification Process for Education
Summary - This memorandum contains important information regarding the certification process by which the Massachusetts Division of Banks ("the Division") will certify Massachusetts approved mortgage education courses which will satisfy the pre-licensure education requirements for the SAFE Act and General Law chapter 255F. The remainder of this memorandum includes information about who is eligible to participate in the process, what you must do to successfully complete the certification process, other testing and education requirements, and where to go to get more information.
Eligibility - The Division's records show that you either: (1) were "grandfathered" from the initial education requirement under the guidelines of the pre-licensing implementation process that ended in Massachusetts on May 27, 2008, or (2) completed a Division-approved 24-hour pre-licensing Residential Mortgage Lending course prior to November 2009. Therefore you are eligible to participate in the Education Certification Process.
Action to be taken by a "grandfathered" Licensee - Prior to June 1, 2010, all "grandfathered" mortgage loan originators, who are currently in an approved status, will need to send to the Division copies of their certificate(s) of completion for all Massachusetts Approved continuing education courses taken during 2008 and 2009 (minimum of 8 hours with a maximum of 12 hours taken, in total, during 2008 and 2009 to qualify to participate). Any certificate(s) of completion for Massachusetts Approved pre-licensing education courses should also be submitted at that time. As of January 1, 2010, all Division-approved education was suspended and was replaced by NMLS-approved courses. The course certificates can be sent to the Division via fax to (617) 368-2746, via email to NMLS@state.ma.us, or via US Mail/courier to:
Division of Banks
c/o Mortgage Loan Originator Licensing
1000 Washington St., 10 th Floor
Boston, MA 02118
The remaining continuing education hours (8 to 12 hours) needed to meet the 20 hour minimum for SAFE compliance certification, which are to be taken during 2010, must be NMLS approved continuing education and completed by no later than September 15, 2010. Any NMLS approved courses taken outside this timeframe will not be accepted for certification.
Course Completion Certificates from 2008 and 2009 which are not received by the Division prior to June 1, 2010, will not be eligible for consideration for certification, and the Licensee will be required to complete 20 hours of NMLS approved Pre-licensing Education prior to October 31, 2010.
If you are a "grandfathered" Licensee and have already completed at least 20 hours of NMLS approved Pre-Licensing Education, or have already been certified by another state AND your education record in NMLS currently records your education as SAFE compliant, then no action regarding education certification is needed, however you are not excluded from the testing requirements (See details below). Also by June 1, 2010, all "grandfathered" mortgage loan originators who intend to obtain education certification in a state other than Massachusetts must notify the Division via email to NMLS@state.ma.us advising as such, and indicate the state in which you will be requesting education certification.
Action to be taken by Licensees who completed the 24-hour Division-approved Pre-Licensing Residential Mortgage Lending Course - No further action is needed at this time. If any further information is needed to complete your certification, you will be contacted by the Division. Please note that this does not exempt you from the testing requirements (See details below).
The Certification Process - In May 2010, the Division will begin submitting certification files to NMLS for processing which will include the education information of eligible licensees. As soon as NMLS processes the files, it will send to you via email, a notification that you must log back into NMLS and pay an invoice to complete the certification process. The invoice will include a $15 fee for education processing. You will be able to pay this fee with a credit card. Once you successfully pay the processing fee, your record in NMLS will be updated to reflect that you have met the pre-licensure education (PE) requirement of the SAFE Act. Finally, you will be able to confirm education status by logging into NMLS, and checking that your PE requirements are SAFE compliant.
If you don't pay the certification processing fee on or before November 30, 2010, your Massachusetts education courses will not be certified and your NMLS record will not be updated. You will need to complete 20 hours of NMLS-approved Pre-Licensing education in order to satisfy SAFE requirements and may delay the processing of your license renewal application for the period beyond December 31, 2010.
Other Testing and Education Requirements You Must Complete - Even if you complete the certification process you must successfully complete two additional testing and education requirements prior to requesting your license renewal for 2011.
- National and Massachusetts Test Components - All licensees, regardless of their participation in the education certification process, must pass both the National and Massachusetts Components of the SAFE MLO Test. The Division encourages you to register, schedule, and take the tests as soon as possible. You must successfully pass both testing components within the timeframes set forth in the Division's FAQs for SAFE Testing Compliance.
- Continuing Education - In calendar year 2010, all licensed mortgage loan originators must complete 8 hours of continuing education prior to having their license renewed for the following year unless a 20 hour NMLS-approved Pre-Licensing education course is completed during 2010.
Please note that all mortgage loan originators who are currently in an ' Approved-Inactive' status in NMLS are required to meet all SAFE education and testing requirements, and are eligible for participation in the certification process in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
More Information - You can review more detailed instructions, including FAQs, on the Division's web site FAQs on Chapter 44 of the Acts of 2009, An Act Adopting the Federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (S.A.F.E. Act). In addition, there is general information about the education certification process at the NMLS Resource Center. You may also contact the Division via email at NMLS@state.ma.us for additional assistance.