To: Deputy Superintendent Ricketts
From: Assistant Counsel Christine M. Tomczak
Date: January 3, 2006
Subject: [ ] - Revised Activities
Can [ ] resume its business of providing leads via the internet without registration as a mortgage broker?
It is the Legal Division's opinion that [ ] may resume its business and it is not required to register as a mortgage broker.
By letter of November 7, 2005, the Department ordered [ ] to immediately cease solicitation of any loans in New York State. This direction was based on a legal division memorandum which concluded that that [ ] was engaging in the business of soliciting mortgage loans on 1-4 family owner occupied homes via its website and therefore required to be registered as a mortgage broker.
On December 5, 2005, the Department met with [ ]and his counsel, [ ] to discuss what [ ] needed to do in order to resume operations as an "information portal" for consumers to locate a mortgage banker or broker without having to register with the Department as mortgage broker. [ ] was advised that they should eliminate specific questions on their website home purchase, refinance and home equity forms. These questions concerned personal information such as gross annual household income, minimum monthly debt payments, social security number, date of birth, balance of first or second mortgage and monthly mortgage payments. The Department advised the company that the elimination of these questions would relieve it from having to register as a mortgage broker.