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Is There a Bond Requirement for a California Mortgage Servicer?


The California Department of Business Oversight, Financial Services Division is tasked with the oversight of licensure and regulations of mortgage servicers, escrow agents and escrow companies, payday lenders, mortgage and other non-bank lenders, and other financial service providers.

A mortgage loan originator is any person that receives compensation or gain for a residential mortgage application, offer, or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan.

The California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) Division 9 of the California Financial Code, Article 3, Section 22100 defines the licensing of mortgage loan originators, which includes mortgage servicers.

License requirements are as follows:

1. Complete the application through the NMLS system and pay the applicable filing fee.
2. Submit the Checklist along with agency specific requirement attachments to the Department of Business Oversight NMLS Licensing Unit within five business days.
3. Provide copies of the following if applicable: a Certificate of Filing from the county clerk in which the fictitious business name was filed, if any questions answered “Yes” on the disclosure statement, provide supporting documents, Certificate of Authority or Good Standing Certificate obtained from the California Secretary of State, partnership agreement, an organizational chart if owned by another person, entity, entities, subsidiaries, or affiliated entities, explain any other business activities.
4. Submit fingerprint cards for each control person filing an NMLS individual form.
5. Complete the Customer Authorization of Disclosure of Financial Records form. If executed in a state other than California, the form must be notarized. 6. Provide an audited financial statement prepared by a CPA, as of the company’s most recent fiscal year end or a more recent date. The financial statement must reflect a minimum tangible net worth of $250,000.
7. Provide a Business Plan as to how business will be conducted. If applicant is a residential mortgage loan servicer, include a mitigation program in the event of a loss.
8. Provide a Management Chart that includes offices, managers, and divisions.
9. Provide evidence of federal agency approval to engage in business of loans for Fannie or Ginnie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA, or Farmers Home Administration.
10. Obtain a fidelity bond and submit a copy of the policy with the application.
11. A $50,000 surety bond is required for licensure.

How Much Will This Bond Cost?

SuretyGroup.com can help you stay compliant with obtaining a fidelity bond and surety bond for your business. The premium that you pay for a California Mortgage Lender Surety Bond is dependent on credit. The premium that you pay for a Fidelity Bond is dependent on the number of employees covered, bond amount and the number of years of coverage.

Did You Know?

California mortgage servicer licenses must be renewed annually by December 31.

Related Links:

California Department of Business Oversight - Mortgage Loan Originators - What's New for Licensees
NMLS Registration Portal California Residential Mortgage Lending Act - Licensee Information
NMLS - California Residential Mortgage Lending Act
California Finance Lenders Law - Plan of Business
California - Customer Authorization for Disclosure of Financial Records
State of California - Department of Business Oversight - Form
California Finance Lenders Law

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