The June 2021 DFPI Bulletin focuses on staff changes at the DFPI and Mortgage Lending Program, escrow advisory committee openings and the latest COVID-19 guidance.

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 up-to-date on June 2021’s MLO news and events below.

DFPI Commissioner departs

DFPI Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez announced his departure from the DFPI, with June 18th, 2021 being his last day in office. Commissioner Alvarez was first appointed by Governor Gavin Newsom on March 28, 2019. He shepherded the Department through its shift from the Department of Business Oversight to the DFPI.

The Governor’s Office will appoint the next Commissioner, with Chief Deputy Commissioner Chris Schultz serving as Acting Commissioner in the interim. Schultz has been second in command to Alvarez for over a year, and previously served as the Acting Director for the Department of Consumer Affairs.

New Deputy Commissioner of Mortgage Lending Program

Sheila Oliver joined the DFPI as Deputy Commissioner of the Mortgage Lending Program on May 24, 2021. Prior to this role, she served as Vice President and Unfair, Deceptive or Abusive Acts of Practice (UDAAP) Compliance Officer for City National Bank in Los Angeles. Prior to that role, she served in a similar capacity across many banks over the last decade, including as a compliance examiner at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).

COVID-19 Reopening Guidance

On June 15, 2021, California lifted capacity and distancing restrictions for most businesses and activities. Vaccination or negative-test requirements will still be required for large-scale indoor events through October 1, 2021, at the least.

With this reopening, all sectors listed in the Blueprint Activities and Business Tiers Chart may return to usual operations, with the limited large events exception based on general public health recommendations. Those who own or manage a business are encouraged to follow their industry guidance to support a safe, clean and low-risk environment for the protection of their workers and customers.

Financial service providers are required to maintain compliance with California’s workplace standards. More details regarding the COVID-19 Prevention Emergency Temporary Standards can be found under Frequently Asked Questions or at

Escrow Advisory Committee openings

Three new openings for the DFPI Escrow Advisory committee have become available, and licensed escrow agents and attorneys are encouraged to apply.

Financial Code 17214 established the committee to in order to assist the Commissioner in carrying out their duties under Escrow Law. The Commissioner appoints the 11 committee members, one of which includes themselves or their designee, aside from those representing the Escrow Institute of California and Escrow Agents’ Fidelity Corporation. Those appointed serve for two years terms, without compensation or reimbursement for expenses, meeting quarterly at the DFPI’s Los Angeles office or by telephone.

The openings available are for representatives from a medium-size escrow company, an escrow company with a business specialization, and an attorney who has escrow agent clients. Managers or corporate officers of independent escrow companies are also eligible to apply. Business specializations include but are not limited to internet escrow companies, joint control companies, and companies that specialize in business bulk sale transfers.

Those who qualify are encouraged to apply by email with a letter of qualifications and/or resumé to Paul Liang at or by mail at:

Department of Financial Protection and Innovation

320 West 4th Street Suite 750

Los Angeles, CA 90013

The application deadline is July 21, 2021. Questions may be submitted to Paul Liang’s email or by phone at (213) 576 – 7535.

Black homeownership in California

The California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) has partnered with the DFPI to launch Building Black Wealth, an initiative to increase Black homeownership in California. Now at 41% in California, Black homeownership has only marginally increased since the 1960s. Building Black Wealth aims to address and improve these issues through providing education such as housing counseling, and resources such as down payment assistance and access to the DFPI’s resources.

Supporters of this initiative include the California Association of Realtors (CAR), the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the California Legislative Black Caucus (CLCB), to name a few.

Related article:

Refinancing and race: why the divide and how to close the gap

Debt collection licensing

Senate Bill 908, or the Debt Collection Licensing Act (DCLA), passed by the California Legislature in September 2020, requires any person engaging in the debt collection business in California to obtain a license by the DFPI. Beginning January 1, 2022, the DFPI will begin oversight and regulation of the debt collection industry under the DCLA and California Consumer Financial Protection Law (CCFPL).

Note that persons licensed under the California Financing Law, Residential Mortgage Lending Act (RMLA), or Real Estate Law are exempt from the DCLA’s licensing requirements.

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