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WASHINGTON — CUNA has asked the NCUA to allow it to have a role in the set up of the national licensing and registry that will include credit union loan origination staff.In a two-page letter sent to the NCUA on Nov. 13, CUNA said the NCUA and the federal banking agencies could benefit from an understanding of the concerns brought to CUNA’s attention. The publicly accessible registry has up and running by August 2009.Several issues need to be examined, Jeffrey Bloch, CUNA’s senior assistant general counsel, said. Whether registration should be for everyone involved in the loan process or whether only the mortgage decision maker should be registered, whether employees who are temporarily involved in making mortgages have to register and privacy issues relating to customers having access to prior employment history need to be addressed before the registry becomes finalized, he said.CUs have raised questions about the scope and application of the licensing and registration requirements.Barbara Sheehan, assistant vice president of mortgage products at Navy Federal, in an earlier interview said there are questions about the definition of “loan officer” or the term “mortgage originator,” both of which are sometimes called “mortgage counselors.”The NCUA explained in a recent opinion letter that whether an individual meets the definition of loan originator is based on the individual’s duties, not job title.SAFE, the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008, is part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, the massive bill signed into law on July 30, 2008. SAFE requires loan originators to be licensed or registered in a nationwide mortgage licensing system and obtain a permanent “unique identifier” number.The law calls for the federal banking agencies and the NCUA have to develop and maintain a system for registering bank and credit union employees. The registry would include a database of employment and disciplinary history concerning loan originators.–[email protected]

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