BLOG VIEW: In order to continue operating in 2021, mortgage companies, money services businesses, and debt and consumer finances companies must renew their license through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS) by December 31.
Given that the renewal process takes some time, it’s best to get started early, so that you can meet all the renewal requirements. Moreover, some states have more complex renewal requirements and shorter renewal periods.
Want to know how to renew your mortgage broker license through NMLS for 2021? Keep reading below.
Your 2021 Mortgage Broker License Renewal
Officially, the license renewal process for mortgage companies and other financial services businesses began on November 1. For most, it will be open until December 31 though there are some exceptions.
The main page you can use for reference and information about your 2021 license renewal is the official NMLS Annual License Renewal page. This page will guide you through the renewal process and provide you with all the information you need.
Before you get started, consult the Preparing for Company Renewal Quick Guide that will help you to prepare yourself for the renewal process and eliminate any possible obstacles. Once you’ve made sure that you’re ready to get started, proceed with passing through the renewal steps. See below for a brief outline of the process and some important resources to make use of.
Meeting the Renewal Requirements
To begin, you may want to have a look at the Renewal Deadlines, Requirements and Fee Chart that specifies the renewal deadlines for all licenses. In certain cases, licenses must be renewed by December 1, instead of December 31. You can also have a look at the main NMLS Renewal page and get a breakdown of the renewal requirements for your specific license in “Step 3”.
Alternatively, see the 2021 Agency Renewal Checklists for any state that you are licensed in.
These checklists can be printed out, making it easier to keep an overview of the renewal process. As you will see, most states require you to submit additional documentation as part of your renewal. Only states marked with an asterisk in the checklist above do not require you to submit new documentation outside of NMLS.
After you’ve familiarized yourself with the renewal requirements for your company, branch, or individual license, you can log in to your NMLS account. There you can make updates to your information, submit your renewed mortgage broker bond, as well as pay your renewal fee, and more.
Once you’ve covered the requirements, you can proceed with submitting a renewal request. Your state licensing agency will then check your request and see if anything is missing. If needed, it will notify you of missing items or information and request that you take care of this. If there are no issues with your request, your license will be updated and renewed until next year.
The NMLS also offers a free and highly-useful online renewal course. If you have doubts about the process or need more information – make sure to review the course.
Renewing Your Mortgage Broker Bond
Most states require brokers and similar money services businesses to get a mortgage broker bond when getting licensed and when renewing their license. The purpose of this bond is to guarantee your compliance with state regulations. It also serves to guarantee that individuals who make use of brokers’ services have legal protection and financial security.
The cost of your bond varies from year to year and is tied to your financials. The most important factor that impacts the cost of your bond is your personal credit score. The higher your credit score is, the cheaper it becomes to get bonded.
To renew your bond you will either need to get a continuation certificate or obtain a new bond altogether. This will differ from state to state and is part of the renewal requirements for your license. Another important requirement to keep in mind is whether your need to submit an electronic surety bond (ESB) or one on paper. This also depends on your state’s requirements – for an overview, see the list of states that have adopted ESBs.
These are the main requirements for your mortgage broker license and bond that you need to keep in mind when applying for a renewal. The earlier you get started, the easier it will be for you to meet them all and keep your operations going in 2021 as well.
Todd Bryant is president and founder of Bryant Surety Bonds. He is a surety bonds expert with years of experience in helping business owners get bonded and start their businesses.