Mortgage Broker Licensing

A Quick Guide to Pennsylvania State Requirements on Mortgage Broker Licensing

Mortgage Broker LicensingAs in any other state, mortgage brokers wishing to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania must obtain a state-issued license before beginning to work professionally. Pennsylvania mortgage broker licenses are issued by the Bureau of Licensing and Consumer Compliance of the Pennsylvania Department of Banking. This agency regulates the Mortgage Bankers and Brokers and Consumer Equity Protection Act within the state.

Types of Mortgage Broker Licenses

Pennsylvania has three different mortgage licenses – for a company, a branch, or an individual. A mortgage broker license allows entities to negotiate and place first and secondary mortgage loans. A mortgage originator license allows individuals to take mortgage loan applications and negotiate the term so of mortgage loans. This license is the one this is most commonly obtained at an individual level.

Education Requirements

The state of Pennsylvania adheres to the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act (SAFE Act) passed in 2008, which requires that mortgage brokers complete specific educational requirements before they are eligible to obtain a new license.

The SAFE pre-licensure educational course requirements for Pennsylvania include:

  • 3 hours related to ethics, consumer protection, fraud, and fair lending issues
  • 3 hours of Federal law and regulation classes
  • 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending alternatives
  • 3 hours of Pennsylvania state law related to mortgage lending
  • 12 hours of elective mortgage lending courses

Once an individual has successfully fulfilled the educational requirements from an approved source, they may begin the licensure process through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS).

In addition to pre-licensure requirements, the state of Pennsylvania requires that mortgage brokers complete 8 hours of continuing education annually, including 3 hours of federal law courses, 2 hours of ethics courses, 2 hours of non-traditional mortgage lending courses, and 1 hour of state-specific education.

NMLS Application

After completing the pre-required education, new applicants can register on the NMLS website and begin the application process, which includes several steps, including:

Pre-licensure testing: the state of Pennsylvania requires that you fulfill the pre-licensing testing requirements, and they will accept three different conditions as proof of fulfillment of this requirement. They are:

  1. Passing results on the National and Pennsylvania State components of the SAFE test.
  2. Passing results on both the National and Stand-alone UST components of the SAFE test.
  3. Passing results on the National Test Component with Uniform State Content.

All testing is completed within NMLS.

Fees: The cost of obtaining a license in the state of Pennsylvania is $230, which includes the NMLS processing fee. Additionally, applicants will also have to pay $15 for a credit report and $36.25 for a criminal background check to be completed at the time the application is submitted.

Criminal background check: At the time of application submission, the applicant must also authorize an FBI criminal history background check to be completed in NMLS. Applicants must also complete a Pennsylvania State Police criminal background check by using the Pennsylvania Access to Criminal History website.

Credit report: All mortgage broker license applicants must also authorize for a credit report to be completed through NMLS, and they must also complete the Identify Verification Process.

Tax Certification: Applications for a Pennsylvania mortgage brokers license must also include a certified memorandum indicating that all of their tax obligations to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania have been paid or that a deferred payment plan with the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue has been put in place.

Disclosures: Individuals must also complete a disclosure questionnaire. In the event that the answer to any disclosure question is yes, the applicant may be required to provide supporting documents, such as court proceedings.

Surety Bond: Applicants for a mortgage broker license must also provide proof that they have secured a surety bond by a company authorized to conduct business in Pennsylvania. The bond may be in an amount between $50,000 and $150,000 depending upon the volume of business anticipated.

The completed application and attachments can be submitted online through NMLS. Alternatively, the applicant can submit the application through NMLS and mail the attachments to the Pennsylvania Department of Banking and Securities. Attachments must be received within five days of the application submission on NMLS.

Mortgage Broker License Renewal in Pennsylvania

Annual renewal of a Pennsylvania mortgage brokers license is required. Renewals can be completed online through NMLS. In addition to the eight hours of continuing education that is required for the renewal (with one hour specific to Pennsylvania laws), renewal fees must be paid at the time of completing the renewal request.

The Mortgage Licensing Group, Inc. is a full-service mortgage licensing firm headquartered in Southern California that is recognized throughout the industry as an experienced and reliable service provider. Established in 2006, our company has been on the forefront of the ever-changing rules and regulations, helping alleviate the often daunting task of meeting the diverse state licensing requirements for our clientele.