The September 2021 DFPI Bulletin focuses on mandatory reporting requirements for mortgage servicers, new rules for NMLS transition and PACE administrators and debt collector licensing, among other topics.

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, stay apprised of September 2021’s MLO news and events below.

Mandatory reporting requirements for mortgage servicers

The DFPI is soon requiring licensees handling residential mortgages, whether directly or through sub-servicers, to provide information about the actions they are taking to help homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Department is especially interested in how licensees:

  • screen borrowers for potential eligibility for state and federal foreclosure aid;
  • plan to comply with loss mitigation requirements; and
  • assess of the magnitude of foreclosure risk among the loans they service.

The DFPI’s primary goal in documenting these procedures is consumer education. Licensees need to inform vulnerable consumers about available and upcoming assistance programs for delinquent mortgage borrowers. The bulletin highlights one upcoming federal program, the Homeowner Assistance Fund, as an especially important mortgage relief tool to ensure more Californians have access to assistance.

As part of their outreach efforts, the DFPI has also launched a multi-pronged education and communications campaign. Consumers and licensees alike will find helpful information on the DFPI’s new foreclosure protection resource page. More information tailored to California homeowners is available on the state’s Housing Is Key website.

New rules for NMLS transition and PACE administrators

New regulations under the California Financing Law (CFL) take effect starting October 1, 2021. Broadly, the new regulations require:

  • all new license applications under the CFL to be submitted through the NMLS;
  • all licensees not yet on NMLS to transition onto the NMLS by Dec. 31, 2021; and
  • PACE program administrators to comply with new regulatory provisions.

For more information, the DFPI has published the final text of the regulations and the final statement of reasons available on its website.

NMLS provides state-specific checklists to assist new applicants and licensees transitioning onto NMLS, and FAQs for guidance on transitioning a license onto NMLS. Further questions may be directed to or (866) 275-2677.

California wildfire disaster areas assistance request

Acting Commissioner Christopher S. Shultz encourages lenders and servicers to offer flexibility to homeowners affected by California’s recent wildfire disasters in Alpine, Butte, El Dorado, Lassen, Plumas, Shasta, Siskiyou, Tehama and Trinity counties.

This encouragement includes modifying or restructuring loans for disaster victims. Such efforts to extend flexibility to homeowners will not be criticized by the Commissioner or examiners. Several disaster assistance programs exist to help individuals, businesses, farmers, and the impacted communities recover.

Virtual office hours for Office of Financial Technology Innovation

If you’re developing a new financial product or service, the Office of Financial Technology Innovation (OFTI) wants to hear from you!

The OFTI has announced the start of Virtual Office Hours every Tuesday from 9 – 10 a.m. PST. Interested parties are invited to drop by these office hours with the OFTI Deputy Commissioner, Christina Tetreault. Registration is required and meetings will be 20 minutes long, and occur on a first-come, first-serve basis.

There are many benefits to meeting with the OFTI directly, including:

  • sharing your company’s experience in your own words;
  • requesting information, such as an introduction to a Department subject matter expert; and
  • ensuring your regulator understands your organization’s goals.

Those interested can register in advance here. Once registered, you will receive a confirmation email containing meeting information.

Unable to make office hours? You can schedule a meeting with Christina by emailing OFTI@DFPI.CA.Gov or using the contact form on the OFTI webpage.

Second round of DFPI grants supports financial education

The DFPI announced recipients of the second round of CalMoneySmart grants to support financial education and empowerment programs for unbanked consumers in California on September 13, 2021. CalMoneySmart grant recipients who were awarded grants during the first round of funding have utilized the funding to create financial coaching programs, financial education curriculum and provide financial services aimed at unbanked households throughout California.

DFPI Acting Commissioner Christopher S. Shultz and Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency Secretary Lourdes M. Castro Ramírez participated in a virtual event featuring two grant recipients, Proteus Inc. of Visalia and the National Coalition of 100 Black Women, San Francisco chapter. Watch the full event here!

Debt collector licensing now available at NMLS

All debt collectors, debt buyers, and debt collection attorneys operating in California may now submit their license applications online through the NMLS. This represents the first step in increased state oversight that will include an assessment of applications, formal examinations, and protections for California consumers.

The Debt Collection Licensing Act (DCLA) requires that all debt collectors submit a license application prior to Jan. 1, 2022 and gives the DFPI the authority to accept borrower complaints and enforce violations. It helps consumers by centralizing company licensing information and enforcement histories.

Note that while the DCLA sets licensing, regulation and oversight for debt collectors, 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 the September 2021 DFPI Bulletin! Find out more about the topics mentioned here by reading the full bulletin on the DFPI website.