Mortgage Industry Update

Mortgage Paperwork

Licensing Updates

License Types As of November 2020 As of November 2019
Mortgage Broker Main Office 329 312
Mortgage Broker Branch Office 197 246
Consumer Loan Main Office 751 716
Consumer Loan Branch Office 3,012 2,657
MLOs - Active 18,290 15,315
MLOs - Inactive 2,461 2,905

Preparing for Renewals

Sunday, November 1, the annual renewal period opened. Taking steps now ensures you are ready to renew. This is important because statistics show that renewal requests submitted in November have the highest chance of approval prior to the end of the year.

Here are items of note for this year’s renewal:

  • MLO licensees must authorize a criminal background check and credit report as part of a renewals; MLOs with expired fingerprints should get fingerprinted as soon as possible.
  • A temporary fee reduction will reduce the MLO renewal fee from $155 to $75.
  • The Department is utilizing auto-renewal functionality for MLO renewals; if the MLO has no license items or outstanding issues the renewal will automatically process rather than be subject to manual review.

Below are steps to complete now, so you are ready to renew:

Company Licenses

  • Ensure all Mortgage Call Report (MCR) filings are current, and file your Q3 report as soon as you are able. Standard MCR filers must also be current on the annual Financial Conditions.
  • Clear all outstanding license items.
  • Review company and branch records for accuracy as the renewal attestation is a legal certification as to record accuracy.
  • Finish the Designed Broker’s continuing education, which is 9 hours of NMLS approved education, including 1 hour in Washington law – Mortgage Broker Licensees Only.

Mortgage Loan Originators (MLO)

  • Clear all outstanding license items; license items will delay renewal processing.
  • Ensure you have valid fingerprints on file with NMLS to use to request a new CBC.
  • Make any updates to your NMLS record now; changes filed after November 1 will delay renewal processing.
  • Finish Continuing Education, which is 9 hours of NMLS approved education, including 1 hour in Washington law.

More information about renewals, including fees, deadlines and Frequently Asked Questions, is available at the DFI website and the NMLS Resource Center.

Closing Your Company or Branch License – Take Proper Steps

The end of the year always brings a higher than usual amount of licensees not wanting to maintain their company or branch license(s). Properly closing the license requires more than marking “not renewing.”

Company License

  • Request surrender of your Washington license in NMLS, and
  • Provide a fully completed closure report to the Department within 5 days of surrendering.

Branch License

  • Request surrender of your Washington license in NMLS; nothing is needed outside of NMLS.

MLO Applications Surge

Amid everything going on in 2020, the Department is seeing a surge in new MLO applications. Q3 reported more than 2,200 MLO applications filed compared to about 1,400 the previous two quarters. Temporary Authority to Operate did account for some of the MLO applications. For Washington, about 37% of MLO applications submitted in Q3 fell under Temporary Authority. This means more than 60% of those more than 2,200 MLO applications were new (or very recently licensed in another state) MLOs.

MLOs Working from Home

Consistent with the DFI’s Interim Regulatory Guidance—Temporarily Working from Home (Guidance), DFI has decided to temporarily suspend the requirement for MLOs to be related to a Washington licensed branch location within a certain distance to the MLO’s residence so long as the MLO is working from their residence in a manner consistent with the Guidance. The suspension of this requirement is in effect only for the duration of the Guidance, which currently expires on March 31, 2021. After this time, MLOs may be required to obtain or otherwise have a Washington licensed branch location. Please note that the Guidance and this relaxed local branch requirement is specific to MLO residential locations only. Commercial locations still need to be licensed as branch locations.

Mortgage Industry Webinar

Information for October Mortgage Industry webinar can be found on the Mortgage Industry Webinar.

Mortgage Broker Forum

The twice-yearly Mortgage Broker Forum meeting was held virtually September 10, 2020. The attendance was a record high. The agenda covered the upcoming renewal season and application numbers (August hit a new high for MLO applications ever – at 704), a brief exams update including using the model rate lock form), and DFI’s proposed legislation on MLO residences. Jeff L. briefly discussed the purpose of the forum and called for membership. We also discussed some pre-submitted talking points. For more information, contact Jeff Lorsch, 206-200-5363, or

The next meeting for the MB Forum will be in March 2021.

Upcoming Dates to Remember

Date Event
November 1 Start of the Renewal Period
November 14 Q3 MCR Filing Deadline
December 15 Renewal Deadline (if want renewal reviewed before year end)
December 31 End of Renewal Period