California State Senate Confirms Jan Lynn Owen as Commissioner of Department of Corporations
Jan Lynn Owen officially becomes the 39th Commissioner of the 99-year old Department of Corporations
SACRAMENTO, CA (August 8, 2012) – The California State Senate voted on Monday to confirm the
appointment of Jan Lynn Owen as Commissioner of the California Department of Corporations. Governor
Jerry Brown appointed Ms. Owen to the position on December 27, 2011. She was recommended for
confirmation by a unanimous Senate Rules Committee vote on June 6.
“I am honored to be confirmed to serve as commissioner of the Department of Corporations,” said
Commissioner Owen. “I am proud to be in state service and to have the opportunity to lead the Department
to greater efficiency and effectiveness during these challenging fiscal times.”
“There are two main functions of a regulator of financial services,” stated Ms. Owen, outlining her
priorities for her tenure as Commissioner. “The first is to protect consumers and investors from
malfeasance and fraud. The second is to provide a fair and secure marketplace for financial products and
Commissioner Owen also emphasized her commitment to accountability, transparency and efficiency in
carrying out her duties and managing the department. “An effective regulator must strike a clear balance
between rigorous and steadfast oversight, while assuring consumers and investors are protected by
transparent and efficient standards.”
Several pressing issues currently face the Department. One is the rise in Internet payday lenders who fail to
obtain licensing with the Department. These lenders often offer loans in excess of statutory limits at interest
rates exceeding state maximum levels. Commissioner Owen has improved enforcement against unlicensed
payday lenders and provided consumer guidance on avoiding high-debt traps.
Another timely matter is the regulation of “crowdfunding,” a method of capital formation for small
businesses from a broad base of small contributors through the Internet. Recent federal legislation relaxed
regulatory requirements for crowdfunding efforts, and the Department, under Commissioner Owen’s
leadership, is taking an active role in developing a new regulatory environment where capital formation
may succeed, but where investors and entrepreneurs are protected from fraud. The balance is delicate but
Another critical issue for all of California is the implementation of the National Mortgage Settlement and
the Homeowner Bill of Rights, both intended to help relieve the high rate of foreclosures in the state. As
Commissioner, Ms. Owen will be at the forefront of holding mortgage lenders and servicers accountable to
the new standards on lending and loan modification.
“Her years of experience provide a strong, broad understanding of the industries regulated by the
Department,” said Brian Kelly, Acting Secretary of the Business, Transportation & Housing Agency,
which houses the Department of Corporations. “Commissioner Owen will serve the public well in this role
and, in just a few months time, has demonstrated her leadership in a variety of important ways.”
Owen previously served in state government as Acting Commissioner and Deputy Commissioner of the
Department of Financial Institutions for four years. Prior to that, she worked at the Department of
Insurance and as consultant to the State Senate Banking Committee.
In the private banking sector, Owen was vice president of government affairs at JP Morgan Chase from
2008 to 2009. She also served as state director of government and industry affairs at Washington Mutual
Inc. and was executive director of the California Mortgage Bankers Association prior to that.
Owen is an alumnus of Cal State Fresno where she earned a degree in Economics. She lives in West
Sacramento with her husband and son.
Jan Lynn Owen is the 39 person to hold the position of Commissioner since the Department of
Corporations was founded 99 years ago in 1913.
The Department of Corporations is California’s investment and financing authority and is responsible for the
regulation, enforcement, and licensing of securities, franchises, off-exchange commodities, investment and financial
services, independent escrows, consumer and commercial finance lending, residential mortgage lending, payday
lenders, check sellers, bill payers, and debt reduction services. Consumers should contact the Department to check
on the status of the companies, investments or other services they are considering and the licensing status of the
person at the Department’s toll-free Consumer Services Office at 1-866-ASK-CORP (1-866-275-2677) or at