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01/23/2018

Mortgage Law Changes to Protect Homeowners

Harrisburg, PA - Secretary of Banking and Securities Robin L. Wiessmann today highlighted the benefits of Act 81 of 2017, which authorizes the Department of Banking and Securities to license and examine non-bank mortgage servicers to help ensure the rights of homeowners are protected. Governor Tom Wolf signed Senate Bill 751 into law, which is now Act 81 of 2017, on December 22, 2017, giving Pennsylvania similar authority as 36 other states.

“I was proud to sign this legislation to help protect homeowners from wrongful foreclosures by ensuring companies follow Pennsylvania law and giving the Department of Banking and Securities more tools to respond to and resolve consumer complaints,” said Governor Wolf. “Owning a home is part of the American dream and this law is an important step to help homeowners as they achieve that dream in our commonwealth.”

The amendments to the Mortgage Licensing Act will incorporate current federal standards for mortgage servicing that are already established in the marketplace, ensuring that companies doing business in Pennsylvania will work with a familiar and consistent set of rules and guidelines.

Wiessmann announced that the department anticipates accepting license applications for non-bank mortgage servicers beginning April 1, 2018, through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). The deadline for licensing applications is June 30, 2018. Questions about the license and the application process can be emailed to the department at mortgageservicing@pa.gov.

“Mortgage servicing is a critically important presence in a homeowner’s life. Governor Wolf and I want homeowners to succeed and we also want the mortgage servicing industry to succeed in Pennsylvania,” said Wiessmann. “We believe in smart regulation, not regulation for the sake of regulation. At the Department of Banking and Securities, we welcome questions and discussions, and we strive to be firm, fair, and consistent.”

The volume of mortgages serviced nationally by non-bank companies has grown significantly from seven percent of market share in 2012 to more than 25 percent in 2015, and continues to increase. These companies that operate in Pennsylvania are currently not licensed to operate in the commonwealth. Wiessmann noted that issues concerning mortgage servicing have been one of the top complaints received by the Department of Banking and Securities in recent years.

The Department of Banking and Securities uses NMLS to manage mortgage licensees.  Through NMLS, companies can apply for, amend, and renew licenses conveniently and safely online. Businesses and consumers can connect to the department through Facebook and Twitter, or subscribing to the department’s newsletter.

MEDIA CONTACT: Ed Novak - 717.783.4721

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