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The January 2021 DFPI Bulletin focuses on new laws, annual report deadlines, and California’s newly launched COVID-19 Relief Grant Program.

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 January 2021’s MLO news and events below.

California Consumer Financial Protection Law newly enacted

With this new California Consumer Financial Protection Law, the DFPI has expanded their existing jurisdiction as well as acquired further powers to protect consumers from predatory business practices. The DFPI can now begin to review and investigate previously unregulated financial products and services ranging from debt collectors to private school financing. With so many turning to less-than-reputable or atypical financial products and services amidst the pandemic, many Californians will be saved from further financial scams and fraud.

Annual report deadlines

CRMLA licensees must electronically file their annual report by the March 1st, 2021 deadline through the DFPI self-service portal. A notice about the annual report filing was sent to every licensee’s designated email address. Missing the deadline can incur financial penalties, no extensions will be granted and failure to file is grounds to revoke your license. Email any questions to CRMLA.Licensing@dfpi.ca.gov.

Licensees under the California Financing Law (CFL), Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Financing and the Responsible Small Dollar Loan (RSDL) programs need to submit their annual reports for the 2020 calendar year by the March 15, 2021 deadline. These reports are also to be submitted through the DFPI self-service portal.

Frequently Asked Questions regarding the 2020 CFL Annual Report can be found here.

Mortgage lending licensees are to file their Residential Mortgage Loan Report, also known as a Holden Act Report, by March 31, 2021 at the latest. Not all licensees are required to report; those unsure of their reporting status are encouraged to consult with their internal compliance officers for more information.

Reports may be scanned or emailed on or before March 31, 2021 to Holden.Inquiries@dfpi.ca.gov or call (866) 275-2677 for information regarding the report.

California’s COVID-19 Relief Grant Program

California’s launched a $500 million relief grant program for eligible small businesses owners and non-profits impacted by COVID-19 and/or the health and safety restrictions that came with it and further impaired businesses during this arduous time. To help cover expenses during the pandemic, grants up to $25,000 will be available.

The first round of applications has closed, but a second round is to be announced. To find out more, visit www.CAReliefGrant.com

That’s a wrap on January’s DFPI Bulletin. You can always find out more by reading the full bulletin on the DFPI website.