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Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act examination procedures

Published Oct. 1, 2012


The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act) was enacted on July 30, 2008, and mandates a nationwide licensing and registration system for residential mortgage loan originators (MLOs).

The SAFE Act prohibits individuals from engaging in the business of a residential mortgage loan originator without first obtaining and maintaining annually:

  • For individuals who are employees of covered financial institution, registration as a registered mortgage loan originator and a unique identifier (federal registration)
  • For all other individuals, a state license and registration as a state-licensed mortgage loan originator, and a unique identifier (state licensing/registration)

The SAFE Act requires that federal registration and state licensing and registration be accomplished through the same online registration system, the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

The objectives of the SAFE Act include aggregating and improving the flow of information to and between regulators; providing increased accountability and tracking of MLOs; enhancing consumer protections; supporting anti-fraud measures; and providing consumers with easily accessible information at no charge regarding the employment history of and publicly adjudicated disciplinary and enforcement actions against MLOs.