Change to SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act Would Benefit Small Lenders

Proposed SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act Change Gives Grace Period for Loan Brokers

A bill now moving through the Senate is being hailed as a triumph for small business. The legislation, if approved, would make it easier for loan officers leaving a big bank to take a job with a small independent lender or start a brokerage.

The bill, H.R. 2121, referred to as the SAFE Transitional License Act of 2015, introduced by Rep. Steve Stivers (R-OH) in 2015, modifies the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 by giving mortgage loan originators a 120-day grace period to obtain a new license when changing jobs so they can continue to originate loans.

H.R. 2121 in Detail – SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act Changes

The bill’s provisions apply to loan officers who move from a federally insured depository institution, such as a bank or credit union, to an independent mortgage bank or brokerage firm, some of these small businesses. It also provides transitional authority to mortgage loan originators who move from one state to another. To qualify, these individuals would have to be employed by a financial institution for the previous 12 months.

Loan originators employed by federally insured depositories must obtain a state license to become a mortgage loan originator at a non-bank institution. The process can take weeks or even months to complete due to stringent requirements that include pre-licensing and annual continuing education requirements, passage of a comprehensive test and criminal and financial background checks. They must also register with the National Mortgage Licensing System and Registry.

Because the SAFE Act of 2008 contains no transitional license provision, it “inhibits job mobility and puts independent mortgage lenders at a considerable disadvantage in recruiting talented individuals,” Stivers said in a press release announcing the bill.

Unless the new bill passes, loan officers who move from federally-insured institutions to a non-bank lender must “sit on their hands for weeks, even months, while they meet the SAFE Act’s licensing and testing requirements,” he said.

H.R. 2121 is a simple solution that would allow these individuals to continue working and underwriting loans, while in no way weakening the consumer protections of the SAFE Act, according to Stivers.

H.R. 2121 a Small Business Jobs Bill

Both Stivers and Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Financial Services Committee chair, agree that this is a job’s bill that affects small businesses.

“This is a jobs issue, providing qualified mortgage professionals more portability and a minimal amount of work disruption when making a change in an employer,” Stivers said in a press release announcing House support for the bill.

In an email to Small Business Trends, he added, “This bill reduces the regulatory burden on small businesses and lenders by ensuring qualified mortgage professionals can continue to originate loans during a work transition.”

Hensarling, in a Financial Services Committee press release, said, “I believe most of us would agree that our economy works better for all Americans when small businesses can focus on creating jobs rather than navigating bureaucratic red tape.”

Support for the SAFE Act

Industry groups such as the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), Community Home Lenders Association (CHLA) and the National Association of Independent Housing Professionals (NAIHP) strongly support the bill. Leaders from each group made the following comments in a statement:

“In today’s dynamic mortgage marketplace, this bill addresses the need for true labor force mobility across state lines and between institutions,” said MBA chairman Bill Cosgrove. “It also offers no new regulatory burdens, and is well within the guardrails of current oversight by state regulators and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Following the passage of the SAFE Act of 2008, many broker lending officers went to work for the banks, said NAIHP president Marc Savitt.

“The Stivers’ bill will make it easier for lending officers to return to the brokerage business,” he said. “We will welcome them back to the brokerage side.”

CHLA executive director Scott Olson said his group is urging the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau to require consumer disclosures regarding a lenders adherence to the SAFE Act.

“Such disclosures would show if lending officers are licensed and meet all the requirements of the SAFE Act, including an independent background check and continuing education courses,” he said.

H.R. 2121 came out of the House Financial Services Committee and was co-sponsored by Representatives Terri Sewell (D-AL), Joyce Beatty (D-OH), Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA), Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) and Luke Messer (R-IN).

The bill recently won the support of the House and has now been passed along to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, for consideration.

Senate Photo via Shutterstock

[“source-smallbiztrends”]

Apple’s iOS 10 Beta Hints at Lots of Change – Not All of It Welcome

Apple's iOS 10 Beta Hints at Lots of Change - Not All of It Welcome

Apple is releasing a new version of its mobile operating system this fall, bringing the company up to a nice round number: iOS 10.

Ahead of launch, Apple is allowing anyone to test the software and give their feedback. First, I would not recommend that most people download this beta. Bugs are par for the course with all early software and could try the patience of those who don’t test imperfect things for fun. Many apps behave strangely with the beta since it hasn’t gotten its final polish yet.

That’s particularly true with this system. After a week with the beta, I’m confused about where Apple is heading with this update. It’s true that this build is, by definition, not ready for primetime and it would be unfair to fully review it. But it is still basically the same software that will hit millions of devices in just a few months and is just not as good as I’ve come to expect from Apple.

(Also see: How to Download and Install iOS 10 Beta on iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch)
There are many things I like. Apple has enhanced the Health functions to track sleep, among other new data. This system also lets you erase icons for some of the pre-installed apps (Tips, Watch, etc.) that many relegate to a permanently unused folder on their phones anyway.

Apple has also done some work on Messages, that makes it easier to send music, sketches, .gifs and photos. You can also send very large emoji. It’s sort of silly, but definitely fun.

The features are welcome changes. That can’t be said of other tweaks to the system overall, which seem to move away from the logical, simple design that make Apple stand out in the first place.

Many menus and navigation screens have gained extra panels in iOS 10, which have the effect of making each individual pane more simple, but complicate navigation overall. For example, the control center that appears when you swipe up from the bottom of the screen now has two sections — one with the Bluetooth, brightness and other familiar panel controls, plus a second just for music and volume.

These controls used to be on one screen, and there was no real reason to add a second. In fact, it took me a couple days to even realize the volume control was there at all.

These menus look a lot like the bubbly, almost empty layout you see on notifications for the Apple Watch. But sparse design makes sense on that small of a screen. While it’s understandable – even admirable – for Apple to want to unify the look of its systems across devices, it hasn’t been done in a user-focused way. That’s unusual for Apple.

(Also see: iOS 10 Features: 10 Big Ones Unveiled at WWDC 2016)

Apple has also changed the lock screen so that richer notifications can be accessed on their own screen with a simple swipe to the right, in addition to being accessible by dragging down from the top. You can also search for apps from this new section on the lock screen. That’s a win for convenience, but not for privacy. I changed the widgets that I put in my notifications screen because they felt more exposed in the new layout.

Others may want to turn off the ability to get the notification center on their lock screen altogether, through settings in the Touch ID and Passcode menu.

Many of these complaints may sound like small cosmetic gripes, and admittedly some of them are. Others, though, are more serious. And all illustrate my genuine puzzlement about why Apple is changing the feel of a system that has helped propel it to such great heights.

There’s still time for the company to squash the bugs and refine the software — something that will definitely happen. But if the rough sketch of the beta is anything to go by, users will have to prepare for changes that may confuse them once the fall comes.

© 2016 The Washington Post

Tags: Apple, Mobile Operating System, iOS, iOS 10, iPad, iPhone
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Winklevoss Twins Get Nod to feature Ether to Bitcoin change

Winklevoss Twins Get Nod to Add Ether to Bitcoin Exchange

Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss’s Gemini accept as true with business enterprise LLC has gotten a new york nation regulator’s blessing to change any other sort of cryptocurrency on its Bitcoin exchange.

Gemini received approval from the big apple department of economic services to begin trading Ether, a cryptocurrency much like Bitcoin, on its platform right now, in keeping with a release Thursday. The twins, who claimed that Mark Zuckerberg stole their idea for a social-networking internet site whilst he started outfb Inc., have been early marketers within the Bitcoin industry.

With the agency‘s approval, Gemini is increasing the varieties of cryptocurrency that can exchange on its platform. much like Bitcoin, Ether is based on a disbursed ledger known as blockchain.

“Their approval of Gemini because the first-ever licensed platform to assist Ether buying and sellingdemonstrates their dedication to being global notion leaders in economic law that each protectscustomers and fosters innovation,” the Winklevoss brothers said inside the statement.

Gemini believe first received nation approval to begin a Bitcoin exchange in October, allowing customersto transform digital money to US bucks and vice versa. It turned into the second Bitcoin enterprise to bespecial through the kingdom agency as a agree with after ItBit consider Co. were given approval last yr.

© 2016 Bloomberg L.P.

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Tags: Bitcoin, blockchain, digital forex, Ether, digital foreign money, Winklevoss Twins

Reddit Change Sparks Concerns About US Government Spying

Reddit Change Sparks Concerns About US Government Spying

Digital privacy advocates and users of Reddit expressed their alarm on Friday over a change in the forum’s transparency report that suggested it may have been asked to give customer data to FBI investigators under a secretive government authority.

The annual report lists a variety of requests the site has received for information on users and for removal of content. On Thursday, Reddit deleted a paragraph known as a “warrant canary.”

The paragraph had said that Reddit had not been subject to national security letters, which are used by the FBI to conduct electronic surveillance without the need for court approval, or “any other classified request for user information.”

Privacy advocates have long contested the letters, saying they are not subject to sufficient judicial oversight or transparency safeguards.

Brett Max Kaufman, an attorney with the American Civil Liberties Union, said on Friday that authorities were possibly seeking the IP address, or an identifying number that corresponds to a specific computer, of an anonymous user on Reddit. Private messages between users could also be subject to search.

Reddit collects relatively little customer data that could be subject to a national security letter and useful for investigators, Kaufman said. Reddit does not require users to reveal their identities and stores less customer data overall compared to email or other social media such as Facebook, he said.

Edward Snowden, the former National Security Agency contractor who gave classified documents about US spying to journalists in 2013, expressed concern on Twitter.

“Is dissent a threat to national security?” tweeted Snowden (@Snowden), whose leaks prompted a vigorous international debate about digital privacy and surveillance.

The leaks helped popularize the use of “warrant canaries” by tech firms eager to display resistance to government attempts to obtain access to user data.

“When you ask someone ‘Are you helping authorities in investigations?’ and they say ‘I’m not allowed to discuss that with you,’ I think the question has been answered,” wrote Reddit user khegiobridge.

National security letters are almost always accompanied by an open-ended gag order barring companies from disclosing the contents of the demand for customer data, making it difficult for firms to openly discuss how they handle the subpoenas.

That has led many companies to rely on somewhat vague warnings. Apple previously had a “warrant canary” but removed it in 2014.

“I’ve been advised not to say anything one way or the other,” Reddit Chief Executive Officer Steve Huffman, who goes by “spez” on the site, said in a thread discussing the change. “Even with the canaries, we’re treading a fine line.”

The FBI can use national security letters to compel Internet and telecommunications firms to hand over a wide range of customer data, including web browsing history and records of online purchases.

San Francisco-based Reddit did not respond to a request for comment. The Federal Bureau of Investigation did not respond to a request for comment.

National security letters have been available as a law enforcement tool since the 1970s, but their frequency and breadth expanded dramatically under the USA Patriot Act, which was passed shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States by Islamist militants.

Several thousand of the letters are now issued by the FBI every year. At one point more than 50,000 such letters were issued annually.

In 2014, Twitter sued the US Department of Justice on grounds that the restrictions placed on its ability to reveal information about government surveillance orders violates free speech rights. Reddit and others have filed friend of the court briefs in Twitter’s lawsuit.

© Thomson Reuters 2016

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Tags: Internet, Reddit, Warrant canary
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