Calling All Washington State Correspondent Lenders

Did you receive the notice from DFI last Thursday regarding new licensing requirements impacting Correspondent Lenders?  Here’s a portion of the email I received from Deborah Bortner, Director of the Division of Consumer Services.

"Senate Bill 6471 (chapter 78, Laws of 2008), passed by legislature, and signed by the Governor on March 19, 2008, requires that all lenders doing business in Washington be licensed by the Department of Financial Institutions under the Consumer Loan ACT (CLA), chapter 31.04 RCW.  The law becomes effective June 12, 2008."

I’m still digesting all of this…it’s my understanding that if lenders wish to retain their status as a Correspondent Lender in Washington State, they will need to apply for (an expensive) Consumer Loan License.   Gee, I guess that means we can all do loans with double digit interest rates now–how is this helping the consumer?  It certainly doesn’t help lenders…it IS more money for the Evergreen State.

WAMB responded the following day via email:

Many of you received an email from the Department of Financial Institutions on Thursday regarding new licensing requirements for Washington State Lenders.  This email was a result of the passage of Senate Bill 6471 concerning consumer finance companies.  Please know we were not aware of this issue until we also received the notification by email from DFI yesterday.

During the legislation session we were made aware of Senate Bill 6471 and were told that the intent of this legislation was to require that all Consumer Finance Companies who were operating as Mortgage Brokers become licensed.  We were advised that it was not a mortgage broker concern.

Apparently the passage of this legislation has created some unintended consequences for brokers.  The legislation would require any mortgage broker with a correspondent line to also become licensed as a consumer finance company.  We know that if this legislation is put into effect on June 12, it will have an impact on a large segment of WAMB’s membership.   WAMB is working with the Mortgage Broker Commission to minimize these consequences through the Rules Process…."

Well my lending Brothers and Sisters, I highly recommend that you attend the next Mortgage Broker Commission Meeting…it’s sure to be a doozy and we, few and proud, Correspondents must be heard.

Mortgage Brokers Commission Meeting:  Tuesday, May 13, 2008 beginning at 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. at Bellevue City Hall’s Council Chambers.  Bellevue City Hall, 450 110th Avenue NE, Bellevue, WA 98009.   DFI wants you to fax your RSVP’s with your name, company name, address, phone & fax number to Elizabeth Stancil at 360-586-5068.  Here is a form you can use to RSVP: Download MortgageBrokersCommissionMeetingMay13.pdf

I hope to see you there.  RSVPs are needed by May 9, 2008.


  1. I personally think that the fact that the market has changed to the extent that it has corrected itself in many areas. The reason underwriting rules became so lax in the first place is because home values were increasing so quickly. The more equity in a home that is being financed the less risky the investment. Many lenders assumed that the trend of rapidly increasing home values that spanned from 2000 to 2005 would continue forever and they bet on it. Now that home values are dropping underwriting guides have also tightened up and dirty lenders (we’ve all seen plenty of them) can no longer operate the way that they were once upon a time. This is a self correcting market and much of what the governement is now doing to “protect” consumers will ultimately hurt them.

  2. Hey Rhonda,

    I believe there are several reasons why this piece of legislation passed so quickly and with little warning.

    The state legislature wanted to close a loophole. They didn’t want companies who were trying to avoid the provisions set forth in the MBPA (such as fiduciary duties) to just switch licenses and become Consumer Loan Lenders. They also wanted to bring about 300 lenders who, right now, are EXEMPT from the MBPA, under the state regulatory body. Those 300 lenders were brokers with direct fannie mae/freddie mac approval. Nobody local is regulating these groups.

    Not anymore.

    Also, the state DFI wants to bring all mortgage brokers and all CL lenders under the national mortgage licensing system that Chuck Cross has been working on.

    I should do a post on this, and a blast email for everyone.

  3. Jillayne, if that’s the case, then the law should have excluded those correspondents who all ready made the commitment to abide by MBPA. This is insane.

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