Tag Archives: California Real Estate

NMLS License Renewals Off to Strong Start

Submitting renewal requests in early December significantly reduces the likelihood of a NMLS license being terminated on January 1, 2016

By Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd Blog

(December 8, 2015) –  The 2016 renewal period for the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) is off to a strong start, with renewal approvals up from last year.  NMLS announced that 64 percent of licenses managed within the NMLS have been submitted for renewal, and 66 percent of those requests have had their licenses approved. At this time last year, 60 percent of licenses had submitted applications and 65 percent of those requests were approved.

So far 16,265 companies, 21,120 branches, and 169,866 individual licenses have had their renewal applications approved.

“Though we have seen an increase in the number of licenses submitted for renewal, compared to this time last year, SRR continues to encourage non-depository entities to submit their annual renewal request as soon as possible to increase the likelihood of having their licenses approved by December 31,” said Sue Clark, Director, Regulatory and Consumer Affairs for the Vermont Department of Financial Regulation and Chair of the NMLS Policy Committee.

Renewal facts, as of December 1, 2015:

6,496 (64 percent) financial institutions have requested renewal;
309,612 (81 percent) federal registrants have renewed;
246,343 (63 percent) state mortgage loan originator (MLO) licenses have requested renewal and 69 percent have been approved;
As a percentage of renewable licenses, the number of MLOs to request renewal is five percentage points higher than in 2014, and the approval rate of those requests has increased by two percentage points; and
84,902 (70 percent) state-licensed MLOs have completed annual continuing education.


For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

 All information contained in this posting is deemed correct as of the date of publication, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained by third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

Judge Says Gov. Brown and Legislature Illegally Raided Homeowners Fund

thief at safe door(Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd) SF Gate is reporting that a judge has ruled Gov. Jerry Brown and the Legislature illegally raided a state fund that was created to help distressed homeowners and took $331 million to balance the budget.

The article alleges that money was taken from a fund that contained California’s share of a $5 billion nationwide settlement of a fraud suit by states and the federal government against the nation’s five largest mortgage lending companies: Bank of America, Citigroup, J.P. Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo and Ally Financial, formerly known as GMAC. Here’s the original story.


For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, principal brokers, property managers, and mortgage brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com.

  This article was published on June 16, 2015. All information contained in this posting is deemed correct and current as of this date, but is not guaranteed by the author and may have been obtained by third-party sources. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements and laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

Green Home Building Continues to Climb, Valued at $36 Billion in 2013

canstockphoto16053461(National Association of Home Builders) – February 4, 2014 – McGraw Hill Construction, a part of McGraw Hill Financial (NYSE: MHFI), today released findings from a new Green Home Builders and Remodelers Study at the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) International Builders’ Show in Las Vegas. Green homes comprised 23% of the overall residential construction market in 2013 and are expected to grow to between 26% and 33% of the market by 2016. This equates to a doubling in the value of green home construction over three years, growing from $36 billion in 2013 to $83-$105 billion in 2016, based on the current McGraw Hill Construction forecast for total residential construction.

According to McGraw Hill Construction research dating back to 2006, the green home building market most rapidly accelerated during the housing downturn when builders experienced in green remained in business at higher proportions than those not knowledgeable about energy-efficient and green home building. As the residential market improves, indications are that the residential market is becoming bifurcated, with green builders accelerating the depth of their green work, and new or returned entrants into the market focusing on traditional construction practices.

“Green experience was a significant part of what kept builders in business during the recession,” said Harvey M. Bernstein, VP of Industry Insights and Alliances, McGraw Hill Construction, “and now, those same firms are embracing the competitive advantage they earned by deepening their delivery of energy-efficient and green homes. We also see firms reentering the market that are using traditional home building practices versus green practices because that’s what they know. However, the broader availability of green building products and practices, a more educated consumer and an increase in activity at the regulatory level will also encourage this group of builders to learn green practices over time.”

The study shows that the top drivers to increased green home building activity include changes in codes and regulations, better quality, wider availability and affordability of green products, energy costs, and competitive advantage.

The green home building study, produced by McGraw Hill Construction in conjunction with the NAHB, is the fourth in a series that dates back to 2006. It was designed to provide key insights into market opportunities, backed by proprietary research surveys and the power of the Dodge database. The study reveals business benefits afforded by green building:

– Competitive marketing advantage: 51% of builders and remodelers find that it is easier to market green homes, up from 46% in 2012 and 40% in 2008.

– Customer willingness to pay for green features:

o 68% of builders (up from 61% in 2011) report their customers will pay more for green, with 23% reporting that their customer will pay more than 5%

o 84% of remodelers report the same (up from 66% in 2011), with 55% reporting their customers will pay more than 5% for green features.

“This study shows that more and more builders are incorporating environmentally sensitive and energy and resource efficient techniques into traditional home building practices, and we expect to see even stronger growth in the coming years,” said Matt Belcher Co-Chair of NAHB’s Energy & Green Building Subcommittee and a Builder from Wildwood, MO. “Green building expertise provided builders and remodelers with a competitive advantage during the housing downturn, and now as the market continues to recover, NAHB members stand ready to meet the increased demand.”

In 2013, 16% of builders were dedicated to green building with more than 90% of their projects green, and another 20% were highly invested in green activity with 61% to 90% of their projects green. By 2015, that is expected to increase, with 20% of builders expecting to be exclusively working on green buildings, and 24% doing 61% to 90% green work. Remodelers are also increasing their attention to green work, with 16% reporting more than 60% of their projects are green today, expected to grow to 23% doing this amount of green remodeling in 2015 and 32% by 2018.

This spring McGraw Hill Construction will publish its 4th SmartMarket Report on the green home building marketplace, which will include these findings with additional analysis and new market research data on the trends of the multifamily builder. In the meantime, key findings from the study can be found at analyticsstore.construction.com/GreenHomeKeyFindings14.


This article was published on January 20, 2014. All information contained in this posting is deemed correct and current as of this date, but is not guaranteed by the author. Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements, laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and should be verified if cited, shared or otherwise republished.

For more information about OnlineEd and their education for real estate brokers, visit www.OnlineEd.com



CFPB Takes Action Against Castle & Cooke for Paying Employees to Steer Consumers into Expensive Mortgages

(CFPB – WASHINGTON, D.C.) — The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) today filed a complaint in federal district court against a Utah-based mortgage company, Castle & Cooke Mortgage LLC, and two of its officers for illegally giving bonuses to loan officers who steered consumers into mortgages with higher interest rates. The Bureau is seeking an end to this unlawful practice, restitution for those consumers who were upcharged, and civil money penalties.

“Today we are taking action against the type of practices that precipitated the financial crisis,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “Consumers should be able to get a mortgage without worrying about how the financial incentives of their loan officers may cause them to pay higher rates than they actually qualify for.”

Castle & Cooke is a mortgage company that originated approximately $1.3 billion in loans in 2012. The company does business in approximately 22 states and maintains approximately 45 branches across the country.

The CFPB alleges that Castle & Cooke, through the actions taken by its president, Matthew A. Pineda, and senior vice-president of capital markets, Buck L. Hawkins, violated the Federal Reserve Board’s Loan Originator Compensation Rule that had a mandatory compliance date of April 6, 2011. That rule banned compensation based on loan terms such as the interest rate of the loan.

The CFPB alleges that the company violated the rule with its quarterly bonus program, which paid more than 150 Castle & Cooke loan officers greater bonus compensation when they persuaded consumers to take on more expensive loans. The average quarterly bonus ranged from $6,100 to $8,700. By contrast, those loan officers who did not charge consumers higher interest rates did not receive quarterly bonuses. The CFPB estimates that more than 1,100 illegal quarterly bonuses were paid and that tens of thousands of customers may have been upsold since April 2011. By tying bonuses to the interest rate of the loans in this manner, the CFPB alleges that Castle & Cooke was in direct violation of the law.

The CFPB also believes Castle & Cooke violated laws that require companies to retain their compliance records for a certain period of time. Creditors are required to retain evidence of compliance with the rule. The complaint alleges that Castle & Cooke did not record what portion of each loan officer’s quarterly bonus was attributable to a particular loan and did not reference its quarterly bonus program in each loan originator’s compensation agreement, in violation of federal consumer financial law.

The CFPB’s complaint seeks to:

  • End unlawful compensation practices: The complaint seeks to prohibit Castle & Cooke from continuing its practice of incentivizing loan officers to upcharge consumers by distributing quarterly bonuses based on the interest rates of loans sold.
  • Ensure that Castle & Cooke retain records of compensation: The complaint seeks to ensure that Castle & Cooke complies with federal law that requires creditors to retain evidence of compliance.
  • Secure restitution for consumers: The CFPB is looking to secure restitution for consumers of Castle & Cooke who may have been upsold.
  • Obtain civil money penalties: The CFPB is looking to obtain civil money penalties for each bonus paid out. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act allows civil penalty amounts to be determined under a three-tiered framework: up to $5,000 for any violation; up to $25,000 for reckless violations; and up to $1,000,000 for knowing violations.

This case was referred to the CFPB by investigators with the Utah Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate. The complaint was filed in the United States District Court for the District of Utah, where the company is located and where the individual defendants reside.

A copy of the complaint filed today can be found at: http://files.consumerfinance.gov/f/201307_cfpb_complaint_Castle-and-Cooke-Complaint.pdf


 To learn more about InlineEd Compliance and Education Management System for the mortgage industry, visit www.InlineEd.com. For more about OnlineEd, visit www.OnlineEd.com

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a 21st century agency that helps consumer finance markets work by making rules more effective, by consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and by empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. For more information, visit www.consumerfinance.gov.

Free List of Mortgage Abbreviations and Acronymns

(Jeff Sorg, OnlineEd) – Is your CAN-SPAM in compliance with your GENESYS or are they both in need of PEP? Don’t be confused by all the mortgage abbreviations and acronyms being tossed around today! OnlineEd has put together a list of the most commonly used mortgage industry abbreviations in this free PDF



If you have questions or would like to learn more about OnlineEd®, please visit www.OnlineEd.com.

This article was published on May 30, 2013.  All information contained in this posting was current as of this date.  Due to the fluid nature of the subject matter, regulations, requirements, laws, prices and all other information may or may not be correct in the future and if cited, should be verified before use.

Education Course Monitoring and Licensee Auditing


(OnlineEd) – The California DRE’s Education Section is the body that monitors education real estate continuing education course providers. The course provider receives a unique course number from the DRE once the course is approved for continuing education. The course provider then gives these course approval numbers to licensees who complete the courses and associated final examinations for use during the license renewal process.

The Education Section of the DRE is also responsible for auditing their licensees’ continuing education records. A licensee who cannot provide the DRE with course completion certificates when requested is subject to disciplinary action. Licensees should keep copies of all course completion certificates for at least five years.


OnlineEd® is a DRE approved real estate pre-license and continuing educaiton course provider under school number 4056.

Article inspired by the DRE REAL ESTATE BULLETIN – Spring, 2012, “Education Course Monitoring 

and Licensee Auditing”

Enforcement Agencies Continue To Fight Loan Modification, Mortgage Relief, and Foreclosure Rescue Scams

Consumers warned not to pay upfront fees, and victims urged to file complaints

(SACRAMENTO, California Department of Real Estate) – The California State Department of Real Estate (DRE) and other law enforcement agencies have alerted and continue to warn consumers to be wary of promises for loan modification, mortgage relief, and foreclosure rescue as scammers continue to prey on vulnerable, financially stressed homeowners.

The DRE, whose mission is to protect the public interests in real estate matters, continues to file scores of actions against individuals and entities illegally offering loan modification and mortgage relief services. The most typical scam involves the assurance of a loan modification in exchange for an upfront fee (which is illegal under California law), but once the fee is paid, little or nothing is done to obtain a loan modification.

Since 2009, the DRE has filed over 1,100 administrative actions against loan modification scammers.  The typical action involves the issuance of a Desist and Refrain Order to an unscrupulous operator ordering the stoppage of illegal activities, including the illegal collection of advance fees. However, in many instances an administrative order is insufficient to stop the illegal activity or the violations are so egregious that harsher action is necessary.

“It is imperative that law enforcement and administrative agencies work together to ensure consumers get the protection they deserve in these tough economic times” stated Barbara Bigby, DRE’s acting Real Estate Commissioner.

In this regard, the DRE commends the recent announcement by the California Attorney General (AG) of the arrests of Christopher Fox and Curtis Melone who operated Green Credit Solutions Inc. Green Credit Solutions Inc. is accused of collecting millions of dollars in illegal advance fees for loan modification services that were not performed. The DRE had previously filed actions against Fox and Green Credit Solutions Inc. that resulted in the surrender of the real estate licenses of Green Credit and Fox. At the conclusion of DRE’s case, the DRE investigators provided support to the AG in connection with their criminal case to ensure these scammers are subjected to more than just an administrative order.

In addition, recent actions taken by the Federal Trade Commission imposing million dollar judgments against Aminullah Sarpas, Damon Carriger and Macie Bain, all of whom had previously been issued Desist and Refrain Orders by the DRE for the illegal collection of advance fees, will help curb future abuses.

While multi-prong attacks and cross jurisdictional cooperation by administrative and law enforcement agencies help to protect consumers, consumer education is the real key to stopping the abuses. The following practical advice can help consumers from falling victim to a scam:

• Never pay an upfront fee for loan modification services. Such fees are illegal.

• Watch out for promises of guaranteed success. No one can promise that a loan modification will be successful.

• Ask questions, get referrals from people you know and trust, and always remember the following:  If it seems too good to be true, it probably is not true.

• Contact a HUD-approved counseling agency that can provide loan modification services for free.

• If you have been a victim of a loan modification scam, report it to the DRE, the FTC and the Attorney General.


For more information about loan modifications and related scams, and other mortgage relief and foreclosure rescue frauds, the DRE and its programs, visit www.dre.ca.gov. For information from the California Attorney General, visit http://oag.ca.gov/. For information from the FTC, visit https://www.ftccomplaintassistant.gov/ or call 1-877-FTC-HELP (1-877-382-4357). For HUD-approved counseling agencies, visit www.hud.gov.

California Department of Real Estate Approves OnlineEd 8-Hour Mortgage Loan Originator Course


(OnlineEd®) – The OnlineEd Mortgage Loan Originator (“MLO”) 8-hour NMLS approved continuing education course was approved by the NMLS for MLO continuing education sometime ago, but what you may not know is that it is also approved by the California Department of Real Estate for real estate license renewal. The approved course now allows licensees who hold real estate and mortgage licenses to complete just the one course and receive 8-hours of license renewal education toward both license renewals.

Designed to meet the requirements of the SAFE Act, the OnlineEd course is delivered wholly online and divided into the three main topics of  Federal Settlement Procedures Act;  Law,  Ethics, and Fair Lending; and Understanding FHA Products.  The course also serves to satisfy the annual fair lending educational requirement.

OnlineEd is an online education provider for mortgage loan originators and real estate brokers.  More information about OnlineEd and their courses can be found at their Website www.OnlineEd.com or by calling (866) 519-9597.


DRE Provider # 4056

OnlineEd Offers MLO Continuing Ed at CAMP Convention



(OnlineEd) – It’s time for Summer Camp! The California Association of Mortgage Professionals annual trade show will be happening in San Jose, CA on August 4-5, 2011.  The two-day event will include continuing education to cover both NMLS and California Department of Real Estate requirements.  The OnlineEd continuing education courses are approved by NMLS and the California Department of Real Estate for license renewal.

The OnlineEd 8-hour approved continuing education is scheduled for August 4th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at the San Jose Marriott, located at 301 South Market Street in downtown San Jose, CA.  Seating at the facility is limited, and with advance registrations already nearing 200,  those who are interested in attending should also register in advance.  Early Bird, Full Conference, and Thursday Day Pass registrations for the convention each include the education at no additional cost.

For more information and to enroll in the convention, please visit the CAMP Web site at: http://ca-amp.org/news/summercamp.htm

New Rules for California Real Estate Continuing Education



(OnlineEd) – Effective January 1, 2011 the California Department of Real Estate has new guidelines for continuing education for license renewal. All California approved online continuing education providers are required to implement these changes.  Some of the changes that are mandatory for ALL California continuing education providers are:

  • If the student does not pass the final exam in two attempts the course must be marked as failed, the course is over, and the student will not receive credit for that course.  If the student wishes to obtain course credit, the student must repurchase the course and retake it from the beginning.
  • All courses are to be timed. The student must actively participate in reading, studying, and completing the exercises in this course before being given access to the final exam. The student’s time while logged into the course and engaged in course activities must be timed by the course provider.
  • The student may not complete more than 8 hours of course study per day and no more than 15 credit hours of final exams in any rolling 24-hour period. The student must also wait 24 hours from enrollment before being given access to the first course final exam.

California real estate continuing education students should plan accordingly and be sure to schedule ample study time. Students will not be able to complete their continuing education requirements in just a couple days. To see a complete listing please visit this link: These regulations can be found here.

Here are a few pointers the student should know about OnlineEd courses:

  • Courses are completed entirely online. The student does not need to print materials or do any part of a course offline.
  • OnlineEd courses are mastery-based. This means that the student will not be allowed to move forward in the course until the current course lesson has been mastered.
  • Completion credit will be issued after the student has completed the entire course and passed all exams with the minimum passing score.
  • OnlineEd courses are available 24/7. The student can can quit or resume progress of a course at any time.  The OnlineEd system automatically registers and records student activity.
  • The student can go back and view content previously completed and may also retake quizzes for practice.
  • Students are not required to have or download any software.
  • All courses require active student participation. Students will not be able to take a course final exam until they have studied for the required amount of time.

OnlineEd courses comply with all new California Department of Real Estate (“DRE”) regulations and are approved as a California education provider under school number 4056.  To visit OnlineEd or to enroll in any real estate continuing education courses please go to www.OnlineEd.com.

DRE Provider # 4056