The February 2021 DFPI Bulletin focuses on updated examination requirements, a new deputy commissioner, feedback on upcoming legislation and annual report publications and deadlines.

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 February 2021’s MLO news and events below.

New COVID-19 exam topics

The DFPI reminds mortgage loan servicing licensees that routine regulatory examinations now include questions to determine compliance with new legislation protecting homeowners in COVID-19-related foreclosures. This includes provisions related to mortgage forbearance and lump sum payments, Assembly Bill 3088 and the extension of the California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.

Related feature:

Moratorium Watch 2021

 New Senior Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Financial Protection

On February 2nd, Governor Gavin Newsom appointed Suzanne Martindale as Senior Deputy Commissioner of Consumer Financial Protection. In this role, she will oversee the licensing of debt collectors, registering of new companies, and market analytics. All of these measures are in line with the DFPI’s efforts to foresee and respond to consumer trends.

Ms. Martindale’s qualifications for this role, to name a few, include working as a Lecturer of student loan law at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also previously earned her juris doctorate. Additionally, she has over ten years of experience collaboratively working with various stakeholders on behalf of consumers, such as in her time working as part of the Senior Policy Counsel at Consumer Reports.

Invitation for public comment on new California Consumer Financial Protection Law

Assembly Bill (AB) 1864 establishes the new California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL). Governor Newsom signed it into law on September 25, 2020. This bill would grant the DFPI authority to extend their oversight in order to increase consumer protections for Californians against predatory financial businesses and business practices.

On February 4th, 2021, the DFPI published an Invitation for Comment requesting stakeholder input on various topics from complaint handling and response for industries, what businesses should be required to register with the DFPI and how to best identify unfair, deceptive and abusive business practices.

The comment deadline is March 8th, 2021. Licensees may subscribe at the bottom of the DFPI website for future notices regarding CCFPL’s rulemaking by.

Annual report deadlines & publication

For escrow agent licensees whose fiscal year ended on October 31, 2020, the annual report deadline is February 15, 2021. Reports may be submitted through a certified public accountant via email to using an encrypted delivery system or secured dropbox. Reports that cannot be submitted electronically may be mailed 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

Failure to include information vital to report or not meet the report deadline will result in penalties of $100 per day for the first 5 days and $500 per day thereafter and/or license suspension or revocation.

Licensees may also call Sultanna Wan at (213) 576-7647 for questions.

Escrow Annual Liability Reports are due on February 15th, 2021 and is required of all licensees licensed prior to January 1, 2021, regardless of whether or not they conducted business. Information regarding surety bonds or any other fidelity bonds are to be included along with standard information regarding covered and non-covered transactions. Email questions regarding filing to

Per the Budget Act of 2014, the DFPI has published the 2021 Report on the Broker-Dealer/Investment Adviser Program. Due each year by January 10th to the Legislature and Department of Finance, the report contains statistical information such as the number and share of licensees examined, outcomes of examinations, estimated staffing levels and need, and other pertinent information.

That’s a wrap on February’s DFPI Bulletin. Find out more about the topic mentioned here by reading the full bulletin on the DFPI website.