New Law Requires Mortgage Originators Be Licensed

CONCORD – As part of the state’s ongoing efforts to better protect consumers, Gov. John Lynch today signed a new law requiring mortgage originators to be licensed.

“We are currently experiencing a significant downturn in the national economy, some of which can be directly traced to abuses and unscrupulous practices in mortgage lending. In addition to the damage it is doing to the economy across the nation and here in New Hampshire, these abuses have resulted in many New Hampshire families seeing their dream of home ownership jeopardized,” Gov. Lynch said.

“The increasing number of foreclosures, caused by questionable loan practices, is hurting many of our families. This new law will license mortgage originators to help better protect consumers from future abuses,” Gov. Lynch said.

The new law will help ensure the people who are developing mortgage agreements follow national standards and recognize their obligation to consumers by ensuring the individuals who are developing mortgages are licensed.

“I thank Governor Lynch and legislators for giving us the tools to better protect consumers. This was really a joint effort, which included support not only from the Governor and lawmakers, but also from the mortgage industry and consumer advocates,” New Hampshire Banking Commissioner Peter Hildreth said. “This new law will allow us to help protect New Hampshire citizens from unscrupulous mortgage practices.”

The new law is the next step in the state’s ongoing efforts to better protect consumers.

Last year, Gov. Lynch signed a law aimed at protecting homeowners from losing their homes – and the valuable equity they have built into their homes – to foreclosure scams. That law imposed new standards on pre-foreclosure sales, required greater disclosure from foreclosure consulting companies and it created stiff penalties for those who take advantage of homeowners. The penalties included fines, jail time and repayment of equity to the homeowner.

Also, the New Hampshire Banking Department conducted information sessions across the state where Department staff reviewed consumers’ mortgage documents and answered questions citizens had. The Banking Department created a hotline manned by trained, knowledgeable staff ready to assist consumers who have questions regarding their mortgages.

“Licensing mortgage originators is the next step in helping to ensure mortgage agreements in New Hampshire are developed in a responsible manner, and is part of our ongoing efforts to protect and inform the consumer,” Gov. Lynch said.

The new law, HB 1286, was sponsored by Rep. Tara Reardon and Sen. Lou D’Allesandro.

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