About California Residential Mortgage Lending Act

The California Residential Mortgage Lending Act (CRMLA) is contained in Division 20 of the California Financial Code, commencing with Section 50000. The regulations are contained in Subchapter 11.5 of Chapter 3 of Title 10 of the California Code of Regulations, commencing with Section 1950.003 (10 C.C.R. §1950.003, et seq.).

The CRMLA was enacted in 1994 and became operative in 1996. The CRMLA was enacted as an alternative to the existing laws licensing lenders under the Real Estate Law and the California Finance Lenders Law, in order to provide mortgage bankers with a licensing law specifically intended to regulate their primary functions of originating and servicing residential mortgage loans. Unlike the Real Estate Law and the California Finance Lenders Law, the CRMLA is specifically designed to authorize and regulate mortgage banking activities. An applicant under the CRMLA may obtain a license as a lender, a servicer, or both.

The CRMLA authorizes licensees to make federally related mortgage loans, to make loans to finance the construction of a home, to sell the loans to institutional investors, and to service such loans. Licensees are authorized to purchase and sell federally related mortgage loans and to provide contract underwriting services for institutional lenders. Licensees are authorized to service any federally related mortgage loan regardless of whether they make the loan or purchase a servicing portfolio.

A licensed CRMLA lender is also authorized to provide brokerage services to a borrower, by attempting to obtain a mortgage loan on behalf of the borrower from an institutional lender.  Employees who engage in brokering activities on behalf of the CRMLA licensee must be licensed mortgage loan originators employed by the licensee.

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