The Washington Department of Financial Institutions (“WDFI”) recently announced that, after April 18, 2008, all new applications for Consumer Loan Act licenses must be completed through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (“NMLS”). See Press Release, WDFI, New Licensing Requirements for Washington State Lenders (Mar. 28, 2008). The WDFI also announced that will no longer accept amendment applications via paper and will require that amendment applications be completed through the NMLS beginning on May 1, 2008.

    The NMLS is an online system that allows state licensed mortgage lenders, mortgage brokers and loan officers to apply for, amend, update or renew licenses online using a uniform set of applications. The NMLS acts as a processor for license applications and renewals. Each state agency retains its regulatory authority to approve, deny, suspend and revoke each license. The system will facilitate and centralize communications with state regulators and allow applicants to check the status of applications and amendments online. Regulators will also be able to contact applicants to request information and clarifications through the system.

    Operation of the NMLS began on January 2, 2008 with agencies in seven states: Idaho, Iowa, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Nebraska, New York and Rhode Island. Washington joins these states in transitioning to the NMLS. According to the NMLS, Louisiana, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Vermont, Washington and Wyoming will also begin using its system in 2008. A total of 42 states have signed a Statement of Intent, indicating a plan to participate in the NMLS.

    Michael Tomkies