The March 2021 DFPI Bulletin focuses on the upcoming Economic Equity Conference, Assembly Bill (AB) 857, CalMoneySmart grants and annual report 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, stay on top of March 2021’s MLO news and events below.

Economic Equity Conference hosted by DFPI

The DFPI will be virtually hosting their first ever Economic Equity Conference on April 21, 2021 for banks and credit unions. Highlights of the conference are to include diversity-focused banking guidance, results of the first-of-its-kind State Bank Diversity Survey presented by Commissioner Alvarez and a racial wealth gap panel discussion.

Invitations were sent via GovDelivery to all state banks and credit unions in February. Questions about the event or regarding invitations may be emailed to

Given that California’s racial equity divide has only grown during the pandemic, the chance for MLOs to hear directly from industry leaders on this issue is critical. firsttuesday will continue to follow and report on the DFPI’s commitment to combating racial inequities in the mortgage lending space.

Public Comment Period for Public Banking Bill

Assembly Bill (AB) 857, better known as the California Public Banking Bill, was proposed on October 2, 2019 by Assemblymembers David Chiu and Miguel Santiago. The bill authorizes local agencies to transact business as a bank by applying for a certificate of authorization. Following the 45-day public comment period that has already passed, Commissioner Manuel P. Alvarez modified the initially proposed rules. These modified rules are now open for a 15-day public comment period, which ends on March 26, 2021.

AB 857 would make California the second state (after North Dakota) to allow public banking. Proponents of the bill argue commercial banks are more concerned with shareholder returns and higher profit margins over the individual customer or funding local community projects. Public, locally funded financial institutions in place of commercial banks are seen as a win for local communities to whom those funds will be reinvested through businesses, infrastructure, affordable housing and more.

Pointing to North Dakota’s example, others posit the idea that public banking is not more widely available because of the lengthy maturation time required before public banks bear their state public benefits. With this legislation, California stands to carry even further the legislative torch that ignites other states to follow suit.

Licensees may submit their comments to

CalMoneySmart Grants

Starting April 5, 2021, the DFPI will be accepting grant applications to support financial empowerment and education programs for underbanked California consumers. This will be their second round of grant applications, with their first round in 2020 yielding one million in grant funding to twelve nonprofits.

Similar to the California Public Banking Bill, the CalMoneySmart grant program’s goals benefit and strengthen local communities and consequentially licensees. Forward-thinking agents understand that by supporting underbanked individuals with the financial tools to become more active consumers today, they are sowing the seeds for a healthier housing market tomorrow. With the support detailed in the CalMoneySmart program, underbanked households gain the tools to become more successful and knowledgeable homebuyers, sellers or business owners.

Additional information on the CalMoneySmart grant program can be found  on the DFPI website or their Facebook page. Licensees may submit their questions or comments to

Annual report deadlines

The Residential Mortgage Loan Report, also known as Holden Act Report, is to be submitted by mortgage lending licensees by March 31, 2021. Per the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act of 1975, this report must be filed by all residential mortgage lenders that do not report data to a state or federal agency.

Instructions for filing can be found the DFPI website here and completed reports may be scanned and submitted to Any further questions can be answered by contacting (866) 275-2677.

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 on the DFPI website here.

For escrow agent licensees whose fiscal year ended on Nov 30, 2020, annual reports are due March 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.

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