My Loan officer talked a big game! But they couldn't pass the mortgage exam!

Mortgage and Lending with Southern California Mortgage Professional NMLS #254430


My loan officer talked a big game!  But they couldn’t  pass the Mortgage exam!



Lawyers pass the BAR exams in order to practice law.




Accountants, CPA’s and tax attorney’s all pass different tests in order to obtain their designations.


Dentists, Doctors and Surgeons pass a multitude of exams in order to practice medicine.





And NOW loan officers must pass extensive exams in order to originate loans!






What is the Difference?


There’s a lot of alphabet soup out there when it comes to registration and licensing.  DRE, DOC, NMLS etc.  What does it all mean? If a loan officer has their real estate license, does that mean they are LICENSED?  Nope! Not under the NMLS !



Effective July 1, 2010 all Mortgage Bankers and Mortgage Brokers Across the country will require their loan originators to be licensed through the NMLS (Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System) 

However! Based on an exemption in the laws, the big Interstate Chartered Banks do not require their loan originator working for a big bank such as Chase, Wells Fargo and Bank of America to be licensed. Currently they only require them to be REGISTERED with the registry.

The S.A.F.E. Act states:  The Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (the S.A.F.E. Act) requires the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve Board, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, the Office of Thrift Supervision, the National Credit Union Administration, and the Farm Credit Administration (collectively, the Agencies) to jointly develop and maintain a Federal registration system for individual employees of Agency-regulated institutions who engage in the business of residential mortgage loan origination. The statute requires these individual mortgage loan originators to be registered with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (Registry), a database established previously by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators to support the licensing of mortgage loan originators by the States.

Is your loan officer licensed?  You can find out here:


 In order to get LICENSED, loan officers (not working for a Chartered Bank)  must go through extensive testing, background and credit report checks etc.

Here is a chart to show the differences between what is involved in getting licensed. Please note, that some Chartered banks require internal background or credit checks as they would ALL employees.  This only applies to the NMLS requirements for loan officers.


Chartered Bank LO’s





FBI Background






Assurity Bonded



20 hours upfront education



8 hours continuing education



Credit checked



Fed and state testing



Complaint mechanism



Licensing  fees and renewals



.I’ve come across many loan officers that talk a big game.  They bad mouth other loan officers, they rip their articles apart, they make it sound as though they are the only game in town.  Yet, I’ve recently looked up these bully’s only to find that they were unlicensed and unable to pass the National and state exams.

If you fail, you must wait 30 days to test again, if you fail a second time, you must wait another 30 days, and a third time?  You guessed it, you must wait another 30 days.  If you fail the 4th time, you must wait to retest and  are unable to originate loans for 6 months!

I’ve heard of loan officers that have failed and are somehow still originating loans!  How Is this possible?  Well it all comes down to enforcement.  These loan officers are most likely putting the loan applications in another loan officers name (someone who is licensed) and they are probably working out a commission deal illegally under the table. 

So if you have applied for a loan, and the last page of the application is not signed, or is signed by a name you have never heard of?   Most likely that loan officer you applied with is not licenced and was unable to pass the tests or background checks.


DO you want to know of your loan officer is licensed?




So, the next time you speak with a loan officer that is talking a big game. 




Check to see if they have their NMLS license and make your own decision!


NMLS# 254430







Comments (4)

Chandler Real Estate Liz Harris, MBA
Liz Harris Realty - Chandler, AZ

HTML is appearing... think it needs a fix!

Jan 27, 2011 03:52 PM
Cameron Novak
The Homefinding Center - Corona, CA
Featured Corona Real Estate Agent Team

Hi Colleen - I love your title line.   Very funny!  I've known a few lenders like that.

Jan 27, 2011 03:53 PM
Colleen Craig
Southern California Mortgage Professional - Santa Clarita, CA
The Mortgage Ninja

Liz,  I saw that!  Don't know what happened but I think it's ok now.

Cameron - I just couldn't help it after dealing with a know it all only to find out they failed 4 times....

Jan 27, 2011 04:05 PM
Debbie Holmes
John L. Scott - Boise, ID
Gets the job done!

Intersting.... I dont think I knew that.  My favorite loan officers get things done for me but they did not seem to be registered..... Food for thought.  By the way I am subscribing to your blog.

Jul 24, 2011 05:42 PM