Georgia House Bill 239, which amended Chapter 1 of Title 7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, was passed into law and went into effect June 1. The law primarily addresses the dissolution of financial institutions, but it also removed the individual mortgage loan originator license bond requirement. Section 10 of the law states:
“Each mortgage loan originator shall be covered by a the surety bond in accordance with this Code section of his or her sponsoring licensed or registered mortgage broker or lender.”
This means that mortgage loan originators no longer have to provide an individual Georgia surety bond to be licensed by the state. Instead, mortgage loan originators will now be covered under surety bonds maintained by their sponsoring mortgage brokers or lenders. The state’s “Mortgage Loan Originator Licensure and Other Requirements” document has already been updated to include the changes.
It appears, though, that the enactment of the law could not have come at a more inopportune time for the state. According to an article written by Moe Beddard of LoanSafe.org, the Georgia Department of Banking and Financing revoked three mortgage loan originator licenses in May alone.
When a mortgage loan originator is found to be practicing without the required license, the state can take administrative action against the owners, officers, directors, partners and employees of the broker or lender.
Without individual mortgage loan originator bonds, the state has one less avenue through which it can collect reparation on unlicensed mortgage professionals who work without a license.