In the event you are still shopping around for mortgage professionals, here is some advice on how you can make the best selection.
The SAFE Act of 2008 or Secure and Fair Enforcement put in place new regulations for the Licensing or Registration of mortgage professionals. A National Mortgage Licensing System was created to provide a clearinghouse for Mortgage Loan Originators and guidelines for their Licensing or Registration.
1. ALL Loan Officers working for Mortgage Bankers and mortgage brokers must be Licensed under the SAFE Act of 2008. The National Mortgage Licensing System oversees our licensing and education. Our licenses can be found for verification at http://www.nmlsconsumeraccess.com You can verify if a Loan Officer is Licensed AND Authorized to do business in your State. Just because a Loan Officer is Licensed does not mean she can do business in your State. Look at the bottom of the NMLS profile page and you will see the individual State authorizations for that Loan Officer. You can also click on "Employment History" to get a sense of the experience level of the L.O. You definitely want to do this (see #4 below)
2. L.O.'s who work for regular, depository, banks are not Licensed; they are Registered. You can verify the same information on the same website: Authorized in your State and Employment history. The registration process is carried out by the bank that employs the Loan Officer.
3. ALL OF US Mortgage Professionals, whether Licensed or Registered are required to include our NMLS License number in (and I quote) "ALL communications except internal company communications." Therefore, beware of Loan Officers who betray their disrespect for this important regulation by failing to include their NMLS number when they respond to you.
4. Experience will work best for you, so you definitely want to check the employment history on the NMLS website to see your Loan Officer has 10-15 years minimum experience in the mortgage business.
5. Local Mortgage Bankers, or Direct Lenders, are the place where you'll find the highest quality of service and accuracy for your mortgage needs. Mortgage Bankers are also Licensed with New York State Dept. of Financial Services and with NMLS
A Mortgage Banker is a Direct Lender and is typically a Non-Depository Institution (no deposits, no CD's, no credit cards or auto loans: just Mortgages Done well!).
A Mortgage Broker works on behalf of the client to locate a Lender (whether that's a Mortgage Banker or regular bank) who will approve the client's loan appllication at good terms.
A regular bank is a Depository Institution offering a wide array of banking services including, but not limited to mortgage loans.