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Ranks of Ohio mortgage loan officers thinning

Licensing, lending slowdown cited in 18% decline

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The number of loan officers licensed to do business in Ohio has fallen by nearly 18 percent since more stringent licensing requirements went into effect on Jan. 1. Ohio has seen an even steeper 21.9 percent decline in the number of licensed office locations operated by mortgage brokers since the first of the year, with 1,749 main and branch offices remaining as of June 4. The state's new Homebuyers' Protection Act, which went into effect on Jan. 1, is believed to be a factor in the decline, said Dennis Ginty, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Commerce. In addition to requiring 24 hours of live classroom education for loan officers, the Act requires a passing grade on a state exam before originating any loans. The Department of Commerce had previously allowed the exam to be completed within 90 days of being licensed, Ginty said. But the fallout in subprime lending is another possible issue, Ginty said. Some mortgage brokers are closing down branch offices, slashing employees or ...