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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

Montana amends mortgage servicing laws

Licensing State Issues Mortgages State Legislation Montana Nonbank Mortgage Servicing NMLS

On February 16, the Montana governor signed HB 30, which amends certain provisions of the state’s mortgage laws. Among other things, the act outlines provisions related to financial condition requirements, model state regulatory prudential standards for nonbank mortgage servicers, risk assessments, and licensee reporting requirements. The act also permits remote work provided certain conditions are met, including that a licensee’s employees and independent contractors do not meet with the public in an unlicensed personal residence, business records are not stored at the remote locations, appropriate security measures are put in place to ensure the confidentiality of customer information, and the NMLS record reflects the designation of a properly licensed location as the mortgage loan originator’s official workstation. In addition, the act amends provisions related to the denial of a licensee’s application or renewal, and updates designated manager and branch office licensing requirements to account for the remote location allowance. The act further provides the Department of Administration (acting through the Division of Banking and Financial Institutions) with rulemaking authority for addressing the revocation or suspension of licenses for cause, investigations into alleged violations, and fees, among other things. Additional amendments address the sharing of confidential supervisory information with state and federal financial regulators. Exempt from the act’s requirements are not-for-profit servicers and housing financing agencies, while servicers solely involved in reverse mortgage servicing are exempt from certain portions of the act. Similarly, servicers with 25 or fewer loans, or servicers wholly owned and controlled by one or more state- or federally-regulated depository institutions are also exempt from certain portions of the act. A servicer that is also licensed as an escrow business may apply to waive or adjust certain financial condition requirements. The act is effective July 1.