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S.C. agencies partner to change state mortgage laws

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Two state agencies and an industry group have worked with lawmakers to change some of the regulations written in two S.C. mortgage laws.

Senate bill 366, which was signed into law last month, amends the Mortgage Lending Act and Mortgage Broker Act to reduce the regulatory burden on industry, according to a news release from the S.C. Department of Consumer Affairs and State Board of Financial Institutions – Consumer Finance Division. The changes also decrease initial license application costs without compromising consumer protections, the agencies said.

The bill was a collaborative effort between the agencies and the Mortgage Bankers Association of the Carolinas. The new law, which becomes effective Sept. 16, makes the following changes:

  • License applicants will no longer take an S.C.-specific test as a part of the licensing process. Instead, applicants will take the Uniform State Test along with three hours of S.C.-specific training for pre-licensing education.
  • The requirement of a state criminal background check for license applicants has been removed. The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry already administers national background checks for mortgage companies and individuals. State background check data is reported to the national system within 24 hours of processing.
  • At least one hour of the eight hours of required continuing education must be on S.C.-specific laws. Current licensees will have until license renewal in November 2018 to satisfy this requirement.

Additional changes include:

  • Clarification as to when a residence may be licensed as a branch location.
  • The deletion of a requirement for a mortgage broker to have a physical location in South Carolina.
  • Added parameters to determine when a mortgage lender would not need to obtain a mortgage broker license when engaging in both activities.

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