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6500 - Consumer Financial Protection Bureau


Appendix A to Part 1008—Examples of Mortgage Loan Originator Activities

This Appendix provides examples to aid in the understanding of activities that would cause an individual to fall within or outside the definition of a mortgage loan originator under Part 1008. The examples in this Appendix are not all-inclusive. They illustrate only the issue described and do not illustrate any other issues that may arise. For purposes of the examples below, the term "loan" refers to a residential mortgage loan as defined in § 1008.23 of this part.

(a)  Taking a Loan Application. Taking a residential mortgage loan application within the meaning of § 1008.103(c)(1) means receipt by an individual, for the purpose of facilitating a decision whether to extend an offer of loan terms to a borrower or prospective borrower, of an application as defined in § 1008.23 (a request in any form for an offer, or a response to a solicitation of an offer, of residential mortgage loan terms, and the information about the borrower or prospective borrower that is customary or necessary in a decision whether to make such an offer).

(1)  The following are examples to illustrate when an individual takes, or does not take, a loan application:

(i)  An individual "takes a residential mortgage loan application" even if the individual:

(A)  Has received the borrower or prospective borrower's request or information indirectly. Section 1008.103(c)(1) provides that an individual takes an application, whether he or she receives it "directly or indirectly" from the borrower or prospective borrower. This means that an individual who offers or negotiates residential mortgage loan terms for compensation or gain cannot avoid licensing requirements simply by having another person physically receive the application from the prospective borrower and then pass the application to the individual;

(B)  Is not responsible for verifying information. The fact that an individual who takes application information from a borrower or prospective borrower is not responsible for verifying that information--for example, the individual is a mortgage broker who collects and sends that information to a lender--does not mean that the individual is not taking an application;

(C)  Only inputs the information into an online application or other automated system; or

(D)  Is not involved in approval of the loan, including determining whether the consumer qualifies for the loan. Similar to an individual who is not responsible for verification, an individual can still "take a residential mortgage loan application" even if he or she is not ultimately responsible for approving the loan. A mortgage broker, for example, can take a residential mortgage loan application even though it is passed on to a lender for a decision on whether the borrower qualifies for the loan and for the ultimate loan approval.

(ii)  An individual does not take a loan application merely because the individual performs any of the following actions:

(A)  Receives a loan application through the mail and forwards it, without review, to loan approval personnel. The Bureau interprets the term "takes a residential mortgage loan application" to exclude an individual whose only role with respect to the application is physically handling a completed application form or transmitting a completed form to a lender on behalf of a borrower or prospective borrower. This interpretation is consistent with the definition of "loan originator" in section 1503(3) of the S.A.F.E. Act.

(B)  Assists a borrower or prospective borrower who is filling out an application by explaining the contents of the application and where particular borrower information is to be provided on the application;

(C)  Generally describes for a borrower or prospective borrower the loan application process without a discussion of particular loan products; or

(D)  In response to an inquiry regarding a prequalified offer that a borrower or prospective borrower has received from a lender, collects only basic identifying information about the borrower or prospective borrower on behalf of that lender.

(b)  Offering or Negotiating Terms of a Loan. The following examples are designed to illustrate when an individual offers or negotiates terms of a loan within the meaning of § 1008.103(c)(2) and, conversely, what does not constitute offering or negotiating terms of a loan:

(1)  Offering or negotiating the terms of a loan includes:

(i)  Presenting for consideration by a borrower or prospective borrower particular loan terms, whether verbally, in writing, or otherwise, even if:

(A)  Further verification of information is necessary;

(B)  The offer is conditional;

(C)  Other individuals must complete the loan process;

(D)  The individual lacks authority to negotiate the interest rate or other loan terms; or

(E)  The individual lacks authority to bind the person that is the source of the prospective financing.

(ii)  Communicating directly or indirectly with a borrower or prospective borrower for the purpose of reaching a mutual understanding about prospective residential mortgage loan terms, including responding to a borrower or prospective borrower's request for a different rate or different fees on a pending loan application by presenting to the borrower or prospective borrower a revised loan offer, even if a mutual understanding is not subsequently achieved.

(2)  Offering or negotiating terms of a loan does not include any of the following activities:

(i)  Providing general explanations or descriptions in response to consumer queries, such as explaining loan terminology (e.g., debt-to-income ratio) or lending policies (e.g., the loan-to-value ratio policy of the lender), or describing product-related services;

(ii)  Arranging the loan closing or other aspects of the loan process, including by communicating with a borrower or prospective borrower about those arrangements, provided that any communication that includes a discussion about loan terms only verifies terms already agreed to by the borrower or prospective borrower;

(iii)  Providing a borrower or prospective borrower with information unrelated to loan terms, such as the best days of the month for scheduling loan closings at the bank;

(iv)  Making an underwriting decision about whether the borrower or prospective borrower qualifies for a loan;

(v)  Explaining or describing the steps that a borrower or prospective borrower would need to take in order to obtain a loan offer, including providing general guidance about qualifications or criteria that would need to be met that is not specific to that borrower or prospective borrower's circumstances;

(vi)  Communicating on behalf of a mortgage loan originator that a written offer has been sent to a borrower or prospective borrower without providing any details of that offer; or

(vii)  Offering or negotiating loan terms solely through a third-party licensed loan originator, so long as the nonlicensed individual does not represent to the public that he or she can or will perform covered activities and does not communicate with the borrower or potential borrower. For example:

(A)  A seller who provides financing to a purchaser of a dwelling owned by that seller in which the offer and negotiation of loan terms with the borrower or prospective borrower is conducted exclusively by a third-party licensed loan originator;

(B)  An individual who works solely for a lender, when the individual offers loan terms exclusively to third-party licensed loan originators and not to borrowers or potential borrowers.

(c)  For Compensation or Gain. (1) An individual acts "for compensation or gain" within the meaning of § 1008.103(c)(2)(ii) if the individual receives or expects to receive in connection with the individual's activities anything of value, including, but not limited to, payment of a salary, bonus, or commission. The concept "anything of value" is interpreted broadly and is not limited only to payments that are contingent upon the closing of a loan.

(2)  An individual does not act "for compensation or gain" if the individual acts as a volunteer without receiving or expecting to receive anything of value in connection with the individual's activities.

[Codified to 12 C.F.R. Part 1008, Appendix A]


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