Welcome back, and happy new year! The January 2023 DFPI Bulletin Digest focuses on license renewals and crypto regulation.

Editor’s note — The California Department of Financial Protection and Innovation (DFPI) supervises, licenses, and regulates a variety of financial institutions, including some real estate mortgage loan originators (MLOs) holding a Nationwide 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.

NMLS license renewal

Missed the NMLS renewal deadline for California? firsttuesday has you covered in 2023.

State-licensed MLOs need to complete 8 hours of continuing education (CE) annually to renew their licensure or endorsement. The on-time renewal period runs from November 1 to December 31.

Licensees who missed 2022’s end-of-year deadline enter a reinstatement period, which runs from January 1 until February 28, allowing them to take their CE — and apply for renewal — late.

Failure to renew during the reinstatement period leads to license termination. This means a lapsed licensee would need to reapply as a new applicant and earn their licensure or endorsement anew.

Editor’s note — Visit firsttuesday.us to renew your NMLS license on-time for 2023, or late for 2022.

Crypto showdown of 2023

DFPI Commissioner Clothilde Hewlett was named one of the crypto space’s “10 people to watch” in 2023 by the San Francisco Examiner. This honor follows the DFPI’s white-hot scrutiny of cryptocurrency business and services in 2022.

Against the backdrop of last year’s crypto crash, the DFPI has aggressively pursued cryptocurrency brokers. Backing up its “Top 10” spot, the Department has issued 30+ consumer alerts covering fraudulent and suspicious activities by cryptocurrency businesses defying regulations.

Most recently, the Department announced investigations into FTX, BlockFi and Salt Lending.

The most common red flags among cryptocurrency businesses include:

  • exchanges stopping or limiting withdrawals and transfers;
  • guaranteed outsized returns; and
  • reliance on social media finfluencers for growth.

As crypto assets continue to creep into the real estate space, consumers should exercise extra caution when evaluating any crypto investment or financial services. For more information on this still nascent financial product, visit the DFPI’s crypto FAQ page: Crypto: What You Should Know Right Now.

As always, consumers can file a complaint if they suspect a business is flouting financial laws and regulations.

Related article:

The future of cryptocurrency in real estate transactions

That’s a wrap for the first DFPI Bulletin of 2023! You can find the full January 2023 DFPI Bulletin on the DPFI website.

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