Rulemaking and Legislative Update
In 2019, the Department began discussing legislation to change the requirement under the Consumer Loan Act and Mortgage Broker Practices Act that mortgage loan originators (MLOs) license their home as a branch office in order to work from home. The timetable was sped up significantly with the occurrence of the pandemic, which necessitated the Department to issue interim guidance to temporarily allow MLOs to work from home to avoid the risk of exposure to COVID-19. The guidance is in effect through December 31, 2021, and allows MLOs to conduct activities requiring licensure from home without licensing their home as a branch office as long as certain data security provisions are met. The provisions require: 1) the MLO to access the company’s secure origination system using a virtual private network or similar system; 2) all security updates and patches to be timely downloaded onto the devices used by the MLO; 3) the MLO to keep all physical business records at the licensed main office (they cannot keep physical files at their home); and 4) the MLO to not hold out their residence at a location for consumers to conduct business.
Shortly after issuing the guidance the Department began to work on making the guidance permanent via a statutory change. SB 5077 was introduced in the 2021 legislative session, passed by the legislature, and signed by Governor Inslee on April 7, 2021, with an effective date of July 25, 2021. The Department has begun the rulemaking process to implement the changes by filing the CR-101 on April 29, 2021. A work session will be held on June 15, 2021 with industry to begin discussing draft language. Once the draft language is finalized, the Department will file the CR-102, hold a hearing on the draft language, and adopt the rules, with an effective date of January 1, 2022.
Visit www.dfi.wa.gov/agency-rulemaking to view all rulemaking documents.
Please note, there is no proposed language at this time.
If you have questions, contact Devon Phelps, Chief of Regulatory Affairs, Division of Consumer Services in the following manner:
Mail: PO Box 41200, Olympia, WA 98504-1200
If you wish to receive paper copies of rulemaking documents you must contact Ashley Sutherland at 360-664-7866 and ask to be added to a paper copy mailing list.
SB 5077 passed the legislature and has been signed by the Governor. The legislation is effective July 25, 2021. The legislation removes the requirement for Mortgage Loan Originators to license their residence as a branch location.
HB 1104 passed the legislature and has been signed by the Governor. The legislation was effective April 14, 2021. The legislation extends the Mortgage Lending Fraud Account (MLFA) to June 30, 2027. The MLFA was established to fund criminal prosecution of fraudulent activities related to mortgage lending. The MLFA had been set to expire on June 30, 2021.