State mortgage industry regulators are working to create a national repository streamlining the licensing application process that would also show enforcement actions against lending industry insiders.

“The point of the repository is to simplify the state licensing process among state mortgage regulators,” said Bill Matthews, senior vice president of the mortgage project at the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. His group is spearheading the project along with the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators.

The database is expected to include disciplinary actions and license revocations imposed on industry workers including mortgage brokers, finance company loan officers and appraisers. Such information is already available on individual states’ Web sites, but will be consolidated in one place under the proposed plan.

This information, experts say, could be an aid in fighting mortgage fraud.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said there is a “growing epidemic of mortgage fraud” in the United States, with reported losses from such fraud soaring to more than $1 billion in the fiscal year 2005, up from $429 million in 2004. In December, the FBI launched an initiative targeting mortgage fraud groups.

“If you want to find out who’s licensed and who is not in a given jurisdiction, you can,” said Matthews of the proposed repository, which the two organizations hope to have running in 2006

“The regulators will also contribute their sanction information and it will be available at the Web site,” Matthews said.

“You can go to various Web sites now and get information on those (entities) who had actions against them, but now you can go to just one place, and hopefully it should use technology in a more efficient manner,” Matthews said.

The primary purpose of the repository would be to make it easier and quicker for state mortgage professionals to get licensed, according to Matthews.

“Currently, if you are a mortgage professional and want to be licensed in more than one jurisdiction, you must fill out an application for each separate jurisdiction,” Matthews said. With the proposed repository, mortgage brokers, state-chartered banks and certain lenders could fill out just one application, he said.


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