In recent years, unscrupulous mortgage originators tarnished the industry’s reputation by steering borrowers into loans they could not repay, or engaging in outright fraud. Now states are trying to keep such people out of the business and give consumers tools to identify untrustworthy loan officers.The program, known as the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System, offers a repository where state regulators keep data on all mortgage originators, including those who have been charged with crimes. The Licensing System also creates a single standard for the education, testing and licensing of loan officers, and it records those milestones.State banking regulators and industry executives say it still represents an important step toward a safer mortgage market for consumers. “I think it’s good for borrowers,” said Ellen Bitton, chief executive of the Park Avenue Mortgage Group, a Manhattan-based brokerage firm.
By Bob Tedeschi, August 23, 2009, NYT

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