The December 2021 DFPI Bulletin focuses on new state laws affecting licensees and the 2021-22 escrow special assessment, among other topics.

Editor’s note — The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI, formerly the Department of Business Oversight) supervises, licenses, and regulates a variety of financial institutions, including some real estate mortgage loan originators (MLOs) holding a Nationwide Multistate (or Mortgage) Licensing System and Registry (NMLS) license. Alongside the California Department of Real Estate (DRE), the DFPI shares the responsibility for overseeing MLOs depending on their license use.

Licensees, keep abreast of December 2021’s MLO news and events below.

New State Laws

The DFPI has curated a list of new state laws likely to affect MLOs. The page includes a brief description and a link to the text of each bill.

One of the most important pieces of legislation in the DFPI’s list is Assembly Bill (AB) 948, which seeks to combat racism and bias in real estate transactions. The law attacks the issue from both ends of the appraisal process: during the complaint process which may take place after an appraisal, and pre-appraisal, with additional training added to appraisal licensees’ continuing education requirements.

Related article:

New California law tackles bias in real estate appraisals 

2021-22 Escrow Special Assessment

The DFPI Commissioner is authorized to levy a special assessment on all escrow licensees to cover the DFPI’s licensing and examination expenses under Financial Code section 17207 (h)(1).

Each year, the DFPI conducts a revenue and expenditure review. Based on this year’s review, DFPI projects the escrow program will have a deficit of $1,289,000 for year 2021-2022. This deficit amount will be assessed evenly among the total number of licensed locations (1,032) as of the fiscal year end, June 30, 2021. The special assessment is $1,000 per licensed location.

Escrow licensees will be receiving an invoice for its special assessment in early 2022. Payment must be made within 60 days of the date of the invoice. If payment is not made within 60 days, the Commissioner may assess penalties.

The special assessment is in addition to the regular assessment of $2,800 per licensed location, which will be billed separately on May 30, 2022.

Escrow licensees may contact Paul Liang, Special Administrator for Escrow Law, with any questions about these assessment calculations at (213) 576-7535 or

Any questions regarding the processing of the assessment payment should be directed to the DFPI accounting department at (916) 576-4949.

Lists of offices due December 31

All commercial banks, industrial banks, and trust companies need to file a list of offices they maintain and operate. This report also needs to designate the type and address of each office by December 31, 2021. It needs to include:

  • the name of the bank;
  • the popular name of branch offices and facilities;
  • the office type (include the head office, branch, and facility locations; do not include free-standing ATMs);
  • and the street address, including city, state, country, and ZIP code.

Responses may be emailed to or mailed to:

The Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

One Sansome Street, Suite 600, San Francisco, CA 94104

Attn: Licensing Section.

For questions, contact Patrick Carroll at or (415) 263-8559.

Office of Financial Technology Innovation Office Hours

The DFPI encourages MLOs to meet with the Department’s Office of Financial Technology Innovation (OFTI). Share your company’s story in your way and on your terms by requesting an introduction to one of the Department’s subject matter experts. This helps ensure your regulator is informed and truly understands what your team’s goals, or what’s happening in the market as you see it.

The OFTI holds weekly virtual Office Hours every Tuesday from 9 – 10 AM PST and invites interested fintech leaders and entrepreneurs to schedule a visit. Register to reserve a 20-minute slot as they are offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Alternatively, users may schedule a longer meeting with the Office by emailing or by using this OFTI contact form. To learn more about the Office and its work, please visit the OFTI webpage.

CSBS Community Bank Sentiment Index Survey

Banks are encouraged by the DFPI to participate in the current Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) Community Bank Sentiment Index (CBSI) survey, which is open until December 31. With only nine questions, the survey will take but a moment to complete — yet it provides critical insight into the economic outlook of community banks.

For more information about the survey can be found on the CSBS website. To validate the legitimacy of this email and survey, please review the message on the CSBS homepage.

Results will be released in January.

Escrow Reports Due

For escrow agent licensees whose fiscal year ended on August 31, 2021, annual reports were due December 14, 2021. Licensee may submit their reports by email to or mail to:

Sultanna Wan, Senior Financial Institutions Examiner, Escrow Law
Department of Financial Protection and Innovation
320 West Fourth Street, Suite 750, Los Angeles, CA 90013

For questions about the annual reports, contact Sultanna Wan at (213) 576-7647.

The penalties for failing to file this report by the due date or to include required information are $100 per day for the first five days a report is late, and $500 per day thereafter. It may also result in the suspension or revocation of an escrow agent’s license, and even prompt an immediate examination.

That’s a wrap on the December 2021 DFPI Bulletin. Find out more about the topics mentioned here by reading the full bulletin on the DFPI website. Happy New Year!