How to Get a Mortgage Broker License in Florida
As in most states, you need a Florida mortgage broker license before you can start your legal operations.
The licensing body in the state is the Florida Office of Financial Regulation. It imposes a number of requirements that you have to meet to obtain your license. Previously, one of the main criteria you had to meet was to post a mortgage broker bond and prove a certain level of net worth, but these rules have been repealed.
Here is what you should keep in mind regarding the licensing process, so that you can launch your mortgage business in Florida with ease.
The licensing requirements for Florida mortgage brokers
The Florida Office of Financial Regulation oversees the licensing for mortgage brokers and mortgage branches in the state.
According to Chapter 494 of the Florida Statutes, you need a mortgage broker license if you want to engage in loan origination through licensed loan originators, either employed by you or acting as contractors. You have to meet a number of licensing requirements to prove your suitability for these jobs.
You have to complete the state mortgage broker license application through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). You also need to undergo 20 hours of training and successfully pass the state license exam.
If you want to get licensed as a mortgage broker, you need to meet the following requirements:
- Complete Form MU1, as well as Form MU2 for each control person
- Note your principal loan originator
- Undergo FBI and state criminal background check (the fee is $38.75)
- Answer all disclosure questions and supply relevant documents as needed
- Authorize a credit report check ($15 NMLS Credit report fee for each control person listed on MU1)
- Pay the required fees – $425 Florida application fee and $100 NMLS processing fee
The requirements for mortgage broker branches in Florida
In case you want to work as a mortgage broker at locations different from your main business office, you need a mortgage broker branch license. The conditions under which you need such a license are that the address is different from the one you use in connection with your regular business, from the one on your promotional materials and signage, and from the one you typically originate or negotiate loans.
As with mortgage broker licenses, you have to supply a set of documents that showcases your suitability to operate a broker branch. The licensing application is submitted via the NMLS website.
The requirements are the following:
- Complete Form MU3
- Pay the relevant fees – $225 Florida application fee and $20 NMLS processing fee
- Appoint a branch manager who is a licensed loan originator
License renewals and additional requirements
For both mortgage brokers and branches, the license renewal is conducted through the NMLS system. You will have to apply for a renewal and pay the relevant fees for the next licensing period before December 31 of each year.
The renewal fee for brokers is $375 and $225 for branches. If you miss the renewal deadlines, you have to pay a $250 reinstatement fee for a broker license, and $225 for a branch license.
Brokers have to keep thorough records of their activities. You should complete the Mortgage Brokerage Deposit Account Form, as well as keep a Transaction and Lending Journal and a Noninstitutional Investor Funds Account if applicable.
Do you have further questions about the licensing process for Florida mortgage brokers and branches? Don’t hesitate to use the comments below.