On April 12, the North Dakota governor signed HB 1068, which outlines provisions relating to residential mortgage loan servicers. The Act provides that a person may not engage in residential mortgage loan servicing in the state without being licensed by the commissioner. This applies to servicers, subservicers, or a mortgage servicing rights investor. “A person engages in residential mortgage loan servicing in the state if the borrower resides in North Dakota,” the Act explains. Exempt from licensure are financial institutions, state or federal housing finance agencies, institutions chartered by the farm credit administration, and not-for-profit mortgage servicers. The Act outlines application and fee requirements and specifies financial conditions for applicants and licensees. Large mortgage servicers must also abide by certain corporate governance conditions, including the establishment of a board of directors responsible for oversight and compliance monitoring. These licensees must also obtain external audits and establish risk management programs.
The Act outlines prohibited acts and practices and grants authority to the Department of Financial Institutions to promulgate rules and regulations to enforce the law and power to carry out the provisions, including through orders and injunctions. The commissioner will also oversee the licensure process, including provisions concerning the expiration, renewal, revocation, suspension, and surrender of licenses, and may issue orders suspending and removing residential mortgage loan servicer officers and employees. The commissioner may also conduct investigations and examinations and impose civil money penalties of not more than $100,000 for each occurrence and $1,000 per day for each day that the violation continues after issuance of an order. Licensees may appeal by filing a written notice within 20 days after the assessment of a civil money penalty. The Act is effective August 1.
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