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Mortgage Banker License Application

The New York State Department of Financial Services accepts new Mortgage Banker applications through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS).  All new applications for licensure must be submitted through the online NMLS application process.

Submitting a Complete Application

To ensure that your application is received, acknowledged as complete, and processed, please follow the instructions below.  No application shall be deemed to be complete until the Department has received all required information, documents, and fees.  If an application is determined to be incomplete, the applicant will receive a written notice identifying the items and matters that must be addressed for the Department to continue the application review process.

If a complete response fully addressing all such items and matters to the satisfaction of the Department is not received within 30 days of sending such notice, the application will be considered withdrawn.  Any applicant seeking a license following the withdrawal of an application must submit a new application that must include all required information, documents, and fees.

Access to NMLS

To gain access to NMLS, the applicant must submit a form requesting an NMLS account.  The Company Account Request Form can be accessed at mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org.

Note:  If the applicant already has access to NMLS, you do not need to submit this form.

In the application process, an NMLS Identification Number will be assigned to your application.  Please maintain a record of this NMLS Identification Number as it will be used as your application reference number throughout the remainder of the application process.  The applicant’s NMLS Identification Number must be included on every hard-copy document submitted to the Department of Financial Services.

Once access to the NMLS database is confirmed (i.e., you receive your company user account and password), you can submit an application through the system to become a New York licensed mortgage banker.

Note:  If the applicant has already submitted Forms MU1, MU2, and MU3 through NMLS for another state, the applicant does not need to re-enter the company record into NMLS.  However, the applicant is required to provide jurisdiction-specific information to support its New York State application.

Fees

Applicants for a mortgage banker license are required to pay the following non-refundable fees: 

Notice of Receipt of Application

After all required components of the application, including the hard-copy and jurisdiction-specific documents, are received by the Department, a notification confirming receipt will be mailed to the applicant.

Please note that the notice of receipt is based on an initial review and additional materials may be requested during the processing of the application.

Weekly Bulletin Publication

Applications deemed complete are published in the Department’s Weekly Bulletin every Friday.  The Weekly Bulletin can be accessed via the following link:  http://www.dfs.ny.gov/reportpub/wb.htm.

Approval or Denial

After the application has been processed, the applicant will receive written notification of the approval or denial of the application.

If the application is approved, the applicant will be required to submit a surety bond and evidence of a line of credit with an expiration date no less than six months from the date of approval, and take part in a conferral meeting, after which a License Certificate will be issued.

If the application is denied, the applicant will receive notification of denial.

General Instructions

  1. Each applicant must designate a person or persons to serve as the Qualified Person (“Qualifier”) to be in charge of the mortgage loan origination activities and be actively engaged in the operations of the applicant.  Such person must have five years verifiable experience in the business of making or underwriting of residential mortgage loans or similar lending and credit evaluation experience, as evidenced by a letter from his/her prior employer or from an attorney with whom he/she has previously done business.  The letter must include a description of the actual responsibilities of the Qualifier and attest to personal knowledge of said responsibilities.

    The Qualifier must be designated and entered in the Qualifying Individual field in Form MU1.  The person designated must either be an owner, general partner, trustee, or executive officer of the applicant and must be a New York State licensed Mortgage Loan Originator.  The Mortgage Loan Originator application may be filed concurrently with the Mortgage Banker application.  A Form MU2 must be completed for the Qualifier.

  2. Foreign corporations must obtain authority from the Secretary of State to conduct business in the State of New York prior to submitting an application through NMLS to become a New York State licensed mortgage banker.
  3. Each licensee must list the name of each control person that directly or indirectly owns 10% of more of the voting stock of the registrant, or possesses the power to direct or cause the direction of the management or policies of the registrant.  Form MU2 must be completed for each control person, director, and the three most senior executive officers.
  4. The Department does not require the applicant to have a Registered Agent physically located in the State of New York.  Corporations, limited liability companies, and partnerships that have not engaged an agent for service of process in the State of New York can use the following address to complete the Registered Agent section of Form MU1:  New York Department of State – Division of Corporations, 99 Washington Avenue, Albany, NY 12231.  Sole proprietors located outside the State of New York can designate the Superintendent of Financial Services, located at New York State Department of Financial Services, One State Street, New York, NY 10004. 
  5. Applicants are reminded that each employee originating mortgage loans on behalf of the applicant, as well as all branch managers and the Qualifier, must obtain authorization from the Superintendent of Financial Services to engage in mortgage loan origination activities.
  6. Applicants must complete and submit a branch office application Form MU3 for each additional branch office requested as part of this application. 
  7. Corporate Financial Statements must be submitted through the Filing Tab in NMLS prior to the submission of your Form MU1 filing.  For additional help, see the Financial Statement Information page and quick guide posted on the NMLS website at http://mortgage.nationwidelicensingsystem.org.

    Electronically submit an audited financial statement for the past three fiscal years prepared by a Certified Public Accountant in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  Also submit an unaudited financial statement for the most recent quarter signed and affirmed by an executive officer of the company.  Financial statements should include a Balance Sheet, Income Statement, and Statement of Cash Flows and all relevant notes thereto and must evidence a net worth of not less than $250,000.  If the applicant is a startup company, only an Initial Statement of Condition is required.

Jurisdiction-Specific Requirements

Jurisdiction-specific requirements, as identified below, must be submitted to the Department within five business days of the submission of your application through NMLS.  All submissions of jurisdiction-specific requirements may be made electronically (either via email to Mortgage.Banker@dfs.ny.gov or uploaded to NMLS).  If originals are required, copies may be submitted electronically to help expedite the Department’s review, but the originals MUST be mailed in hard copy to the following address:

New York State Department of Financial Services
Attention:  Mortgage Banking
One State Street
New York, NY 10004

    1. NMLS APPLICATION.  The applicant will be required to submit an application through NMLS before the Department will accept documentation for New York State jurisdiction-specific requirements.
    2. SURETY BOND.  Provide an original mortgage banker bond in the amount of $50,000 furnished by a surety company authorized to conduct business in New York.  The name of the principal insured on the bond must match exactly the full legal name of the applicant, as authorized by the Secretary of State of New York.  Applicants that cannot obtain a surety bond can execute a Deposit Agreement approved by the Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York.  The Deposit Agreement requires a pledge of securities or funds of $50,000 valued at the lower of the principal amount or market value.  Applicants must get prior Department approval to use a form other than the Department’s standard form.

      Note:   Surety bonds are not required to be submitted until the application has been approved.  The Department will not, however, issue a license until the bond has been received.

    3. LINE OF CREDIT.  Submit written documentation evidencing a line of credit of not less than $1 million provided by an unaffiliated banking institution, insurance company, or similar credit facility approved by the Superintendent. 
    4. LETTER OF ASSURANCE.  Provide a letter on company letterhead stating that the applicant will maintain a net worth not less than $250,000 and a committed line of credit not less than $1 million at all times.  The letter must be signed by a designated officer.
    5. SECRETARY OF STATE DOCUMENTATION.

      Domestic Companies (entities incorporated or chartered in the State of New York) provide the following:

      (A) An original Certificate of Good Standing, if the applicant has been incorporated for more than six months, and

      (B) One of the following:

      • Certified copy of certificate of incorporation and filing receipt (if a corporation); or
      • The Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement (if a limited liability company); or
      • Partnership Agreement or Trust Agreement (if a partnership or established pursuant to a trust).

      Foreign Companies (entities incorporated or chartered outside the State of New York) provide the following:

      (A) Certificate of Good Standing from the New York Secretary of State if the authority to conduct business in New York is more than six months old; and

      (B) One of the following:

        • Copy of filing receipt and certified copy of Application for Authority from the New York Secretary of State; or
        • Copy of filing receipt and certified Certificate of Fictitious Name from the New York Secretary of State if you filed for a fictitious name; and

      (C) One of the following: 

      • Certified copy of certificate of incorporation and filing receipt from the Secretary of State for the state in which the entity was incorporated or chartered (if a corporation); or
        • The Articles of Organization and Operating Agreement (if a limited liability company); or
        • Partnership Agreement or Trust Agreement (if a partnership or established pursuant to a trust).
    6. PERSONAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS.  The three most senior executive officers, each controlling member of a partnership, each director, all direct and indirect principal stockholders of a corporate applicant, and the Qualifier must submit a personal financial statement as of the date of the filing of the electronic application for the most recent quarter and year end.  An applicant that has only two executive officers must substitute the compliance officer for the third executive officer.
    7. PERSONAL QUESTIONNAIRE.  The three most senior executive officers, each controlling member of a partnership, each director, all direct and indirect principal stockholders of a corporate applicant, and the Qualifier must submit a personal questionnaire.  An applicant that has only two executive officers must substitute the compliance officer for the third executive officer. 
    8. RESUME.  The three most senior executive officers and the Qualifier must submit a resume. 
    9. LITIGATION AFFIDAVIT.  The three most senior executive officers, each controlling member of a partnership, each director, all direct and indirect principal stockholders of a corporate applicant, and the Qualifier must submit a litigation affidavit.  If applicable, also provide a letter from the applicant’s attorney detailing any pending litigation and the most likely outcome.  An applicant that has only two executive officers must substitute the compliance officer for the third executive officer.
    10. OTHER TRADE NAMES.  If the applicant will be operating under a name other than its legal name, such as a “D/B/A” or “fictitious” name, provide a file-stamped copy of the Certificate of Assumed Name from the Secretary of State of New York.  Sole proprietors using an assumed name “D/B/A” must provide a copy of the filing receipt from the county clerk’s office. 
    11. BACKGROUND REPORTS AND BACKGROUND REPORT CERTIFICATION.  An investigative background report is required for the three most senior executive officers, each controlling member of a partnership, each director, all direct and indirect principal stockholders of a corporate applicant, and the Qualifier.  Background investigation reports must be provided directly to the Department by the private investigation company.  An applicant that has only two executive officers must substitute the compliance officer for the third executive officer.

      Note:  If any of the individuals listed above has a credit report that includes derogatory information, the applicant, where applicable, will be required to provide an explanation, including, but not limited to:  (1) relevant payoff or satisfaction letters from creditors and/or collection agencies evidencing payment of outstanding obligations or an existing repayment plan, (2) relevant tax lien releases or satisfaction notices or an existing repayment plan, (3) a lender short sale approval letter or loan modification approval, (4) bankruptcy discharge documents, (5) court order(s) vacating outstanding judgments, (6) documentation supporting a medical condition and its financial impact on the individual, (7) documentation demonstrating identity theft and its financial impact on the individual, and (8) a child support enforcement balance and arrears statement or letter.

    12. FINGERPRINTS.  For the three most senior executive officers, each controlling member of a partnership, each director, all direct and indirect principal stockholders of a corporate applicant, and the Qualifier, fingerprints must be submitted to the Department as instructed.  An applicant that has only two executive officers must substitute the compliance officer for the third executive officer.
    13. AFFIRMATION.  Provide an affirmation stating that the applicant will immediately notify the Superintendent of any changes to the information furnished in the application and that a designated officer has reviewed the application and certifies that the application does not contain any untrue statement or omission of material facts. 
    14. CORPORATE RESOLUTION.  For corporate entities, provide an original corporate resolution designating the officer authorized to execute the application on behalf of the entity.  The resolution must be signed by the corporate secretary and bear the seal of the corporation.  For partnership or trust entities, provide a resolution signed by a managing member, general partner, or trustee designating the officer authorized to execute the application on behalf of the entity. 
    15. DISCLOSURE QUESTIONS.  Provide complete details of all events or proceedings for any “Yes” answer to any of the disclosure questions (found on NMLS) for the company or the three most senior executive officers, each controlling member of a partnership, each director, and all direct and indirect principal stockholders of a corporate applicant.  An applicant that has only two executive officers must substitute the compliance officer for the third executive officer.
    16. BUSINESS PLAN.  Provide a business plan outlining marketing strategy, products and services, target markets, and operating structure the applicant intends to employ in its mortgage loan origination activities within the State of New York.

      The applicant’s business plan must specifically address:  (i) aggregate volume of loans originated in states already licensed or registered, if any; (ii) projected New York mortgage banking volume in dollars and number of loans; (iii) technology platform employed in originating loans; (iv) source of business (e.g., real estate referrals); (v) types of loan products offered; (vi) demographics the applicant intents to solicit; (vii) operating platform (e.g., wholesale or retail); (viii) aggregate funding facilities; and (ix) whether the applicant anticipates establishing a physical location in New York.

    17. FAIR LENDING PLAN.  Submit a fair lending plan addressing how the applicant ensures that loans are made in conformance with fair lending laws.
    18. CERTIFICATE OF COMPLIANCE.  All applicants must certify that they are in compliance with Section 296-a of the Executive Law prohibiting unlawful discriminatory practices in relation to credit.
    19. COMPLIANCE PROGRAM.  Provide a summary of the applicant’s compliance program.  The summary should address:  (i) employee training, (ii) method of delivering training to employees, (iii) frequency of training, (iv) training timeline for newly hired employees, (v) frequency of compliance reviews, (vi) compliance risk rating methodology and escalation process, and (vii) compliance oversight and reporting structure.
    20. WORKERS’ COMPENSATION.  All applicants must submit evidence of compliance with workers’ compensation law (Workers’ Compensation Law, Section 57) and insurance disability law (Disability Law, Section 220, Subd. 8).  To comply with the provisions of the workers’ compensation law and insurance disability law, a business must be:  (i) legally exempt from obtaining workers’ compensation of disability benefit insurance coverage, (ii) obtain workers’ compensation and disability coverage from an insurance carrier, or (iii) be self-insured or participate in an authorized group self-insurance plan.  Such evidence may take the form of (i) an exemption letter from the Workers’ Compensation Board, (ii) an insurance carrier insurance certificate, or (iii) an approval for self-insurance from the Workers’ Compensation Board.
    21. LEASES.  Provide copies of leases and subleases, if applicable, for all locations the applicant seeks to license.  Leases must meet the following requirements:
      • Must be for commercial use;
      • Must be fully executed in the name of the applicant by an executive officer of record;
      • Must provide for the tenant’s exclusive use and specifically allow for use as a mortgage banker;
      • Must sufficiently describe the location of the premises (e.g., in addition to address, it must indicate floor and suite number and/or office number);
      • Must have at least 6 active months remaining on the lease at the time of licensing;
      • Must include the printed name of any signatory, the company name, and the signatory’s title beneath the signature;
      • Must include all assignments, modifications, and amendments; and
      • Must specifically allow for a sublease if a sublease is being submitted, as evidenced by a landlord consent letter.

      The Department may request additional information for processing.

    22. MANAGEMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL CHARTS.  All applicants must submit an organizational chart showing the operating management structure, reporting lines of executive officers, and operating committees.  Also, separately identify compliance reporting and internal audit structure.  In addition, if the applicant is owned by another entity or entities or person, or has subsidiaries or affiliated entities, applicants must also submit an organizational chart for those entities.  Applicants must clearly delineate ownership structure, subsidiaries, and affiliated relationships.
    23. WEBSITE QUESTIONNAIRE.  All applicants are required to complete a website questionnaire relating to the compliance of the applicant’s website with federal advertising requirements. 
    24. DUAL AGENCY AFFIDAVIT.  If a mortgage broker, mortgage banker, branch manager, or other person having a relationship with the applicant holds a real estate broker or salesperson license or functions as an attorney on residential mortgage transactions, or if the branch office is physically located on the premises of a real estate agency, a Dual Agency Affidavit must be submitted.
    25. LENDING VOLUME.  Provide a list of the three states within which the applicant currently does its highest volume of lending.
    1. WORD APPROVAL (if applicable).  Entities that wish to engage in business involving residential mortgages on owner-occupied one-to-four family residential properties must secure the prior approval of the Superintendent to use certain words (Loan, Mortgage, Finance, Investment) or any derivative thereof in Business Names, Assumed Names (D/B/A), or Fictitious Names.

    Waiver Requests:  Consistent with the New York Banking Law and the Superintendent’s Regulations, the New York State Department of Financial Services may, in its discretion and in limited circumstances, consider requests for waiver of certain informational requirements applicable to individuals, such as individual owners owning indirectly 10 percent or more of the voting stocks of an applicant or of the voting stocks of an entity that directly or indirectly owns 10 percent or more of the applicant, where it determines the waiver will not adversely impact the application process or the ability of the New York State Department of Financial Services to adequately determine the character and fitness of an applicant.  Any waiver request should be in writing and submitted to the Deputy Superintendent of Mortgage Banking.  Consideration of any waiver request will be fact specific and may require submission of substantial supporting documentation.  Waiver requests may be granted subject to conditions.

    In considering a waiver request, the New York State Department of Financial Services may take into account factors such as any publicly available information that would provide the Department with sufficient insight into the background and financial status of the individual or individuals for whom the waiver is sought, lack of any direct or indirect control, influence or oversight by such individual or individuals over the management or operations of the applicant, including serving on the board of directors of the applicant or acting or functioning as a director or officer of the applicant, or any ability, whether direct or indirect, to appoint or dismiss any members of the management, the board of directors or similar officials of the applicant. Additionally, the Department may take into account any evidence of regulatory concerns regarding the applicant, its officers and directors, as well as any supplemental information submitted to determine if existing regulatory oversight, due diligence or other available or utilized processes are comparable to the Department’s application due diligence process.  Any waiver request should address the above factors.  Furthermore, in the process of reviewing and considering the application, the Department may request additional information and supporting documents.

    WHO TO CONTACT

    If you require assistance in using the NMLS database or logging into the system, please contact the NMLS Call Center at (855) 665-7123.

    For questions concerning New York State jurisdiction-specific requirements, please contact us via e-mail at Mortgage.Banker@dfs.ny.gov.

    YOU ARE NOT AUTHORIZED TO ENGAGE IN NEW YORK REGULATED MORTGAGE LOAN ORIGINATION ACTIVITIES UNTIL YOU HAVE RECEIVED A LICENSE ISSUED BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK

    Updated 06/03/2014