Published on January 17, 2019
Written by Joseph Prettner
It is crucial to ensure your name is correct in NMLS Consumer Access, the NMLS ID database, because the SAFE Act requires loan originators to include their Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System Unique Identifier (NMLS ID) number on multiple documents, including some documents used to obtain business (ex. business cards).
NMLS Consumer Access is a great tool for consumers and mortgage personnel to verify that a loan originator has a valid NMLS ID number in the state where they are doing business. This database also shows if the loan originator has any disciplinary actions on their record. Since the 2008 financial crisis, transparency in mortgage lending and consumer protection has been a driving factor in the creation of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and the Know Before You Owe mortgage disclosure rule. The general idea is to empower consumers with tools to ensure they are working with licensed and professional loan originators.
Loan originators’ NMLS IDs cannot change. Therefore, the law spells out requirements for keeping the ID up-to-date. One such requirement is to update the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) within 30 days of any name change as well as any other out-of-date information.
Inaccurate NMLS info results in a direct violation of the SAFE Act, which is something we have been noticing in recent quality control reviews.
Over the last several months, we have cited multiple exceptions for loan originator names not matching the information in NMLS Consumer Access. In most cases this is a missing middle initial or the loan documents reflecting a shortened name (e.g. “Sam” instead of “Samuel”) that is not registered with NMLS. The line where you can get into real trouble is if the consumer is not able to find you on NMLS Consumer Access due to the name being significantly different. To avoid this, we recommend going into NMLS Consumer Access if you are a licensed loan originator and confirming that the name you are providing to the consumer on mortgage documents is the same shown in their system. If not, you can add an additional name through NMLS.