Maryland’s new licensing requirements for mortgage loan originators have created a backlog of applications awaiting approval by regulators.

The state, which had an estimated 12,000 mortgage loan officers in 2005 when the law requiring licensing was passed, started taking applications from mortgage officers in July, The Gazette of Gaithersburg reports.

By the time the law took effect in January, 5,500 loan officers had been licensed, and as of April 24 regulators had approved 8,700 of 11,400 applications received. Applications continue to pour in at the rate of 20 to 30 a day, state officials said.

A state official told The Gazette that the lending industry supported licensing requirements because they would weed out unethical loan officers. So far, fewer than 40 applications have been denied.

The law requires that loan officers pass an exam, and have three years of experience or have completed 40 hours of continuing education. Loan originators at banks and other financial institutions governed by other regulators are exempt.

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