The California Residential Mortgage Lenders Act (CRMLA) regulates the origination and servicing of residential mortgage loans in California. The CRMLA requires that any person engaged in the business of making or servicing residential mortgage loans within California do so only under the authority of a license under the CRMLA. A party applying pursuant to the provisions of the CRMLA may obtain a license as a servicer, lender, or both. However, the following entities are exempt from these licensing requirements:
- Banks, trust companies, insurance companies, and industrial loan companies;
- Federally chartered savings and loan associations, federal savings banks, and federal credit unions;
- Savings and loan associations, savings banks, and credit unions authorized to conduct business in California;
- Persons engaged solely in business, commercial, or agricultural mortgage lending;
- Wholly owned service corporations of savings and loan associations or savings banks;
- Federal, state and municipal governments;
- Pension plans making residential mortgage loans to their participants;
- Persons acting in a fiduciary capacity conferred by the authority of a court;
- Licensed California real estate brokers;
- California finance lenders; and
- Trustees in a foreclosure proceeding.
Any California state agency or company exempt from licensure under the CRMLA or the California Finance Lenders Law (CFLL) may voluntarily register with California Department of Business Oversight (DBO). This registration is available only for California state agencies and companies who sponsor mortgage loan originator employees required to be licensed under the CRMLA and CFLL. Once registered, these entities must agree to abide by NMLS requirements, including attesting to the accuracy of the information submitted, agreeing to keep it updated through NMLS, and annually renewing the registration through the NMLS Streamlined Renewal Process.
Any California state agency or company required to be licensed under the CRMLA and CFLL, or any other law that may require licensure under any other state or federal law, may not register as an Exempt California State Agency or Mortgage Company. They must hold a residential mortgage lender, residential mortgage loan servicer, or residential mortgage lender and servicer license under the CRMLA, or a mortgage lender, mortgage broker, or mortgage lender and broker license under the CFLL, or hold a license under their respective laws.
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