BILL ANALYSIS Senate Appropriations Committee Fiscal Summary Senator Tom Torlakson, Chairman 385 (Machado) Hearing Date: 5/31/07 Amended: 4/23/07 Consultant: Maureen Ortiz Policy Vote: B. F. & I. 10-0 _________________________________________________________________ ____ BILL SUMMARY: SB 385 extends federal guidance on nontraditional mortgage product risks to state-regulated mortgage lenders and brokers. _________________________________________________________________ ____ Fiscal Impact (in thousands) Major Provisions 2007-08 2008-09 2009-10 Fund Dept of Real Estate -----------minor, absorbable------------ Real Estate Dept Fin. Institutions $120 $240 $240 Fin. Inst,. Dept Corporations $63 $125 $125 Corporations _________________________________________________________________ ____ STAFF COMMENTS: SUSPENSE FILE. Costs will result from the development of emergency and final regulations, as well as enforcement and oversight. The Department of Financial Institutions anticipates the need for 2 PYs with costs totaling $240,000 annually, and the Department of Corporations will incur examination and enforcement costs of approximately $125,000. Existing state law authorizes residential mortgage lending and brokering under the Banking Law, Credit Union Law, Finance Lenders Law, Residential Mortgage Lending Act, and the Real Estate Law, all of which regulate entities that engage in mortgage lending and borrowing through the Department of Financial Institutions (DFI), the Department of Corporations (DOC), and the Department of Real Estate (DRE). SB 385 does the following: 1) directs the DFI to apply the nontraditional mortgage product risk guidance issued by the federal government to state-regulated financial institutions, 2) directs the DOC to apply the risk guidance issued by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors and the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators (CSBS/AARMR) to licensed finance lenders and residential mortgage lenders, 3) directs the DRE to apply the risk guidance of CSBS/AARMR to real estate brokers, 4) authorizes all three commissioners to adopt emergency regulations and final regulations to clarify the application of the applicable guidance documents to their licensees as soon as possible, 5) directs all affected licensees to develop policies and procedures to achieve the objectives set forth in the guidance, and 6) requires the Secretary of BT&H to ensure that all three commissioners coordinate their policymaking and rulemaking efforts. Additionally, amendments were added in the Senate Banking, -1- Page 2 SB 385 (Machado) Finance and Insurance Committee to expand the definition of real estate brokers to include a person who engages as a principal in the business of making loans, and makes 8 or more specified loans to the public from the person's own funds. The bill also now provides the Commissioner of DRE with clearer statutory authority to compel brokers to provide more information on their renewal forms relating to the types of licensed activities they had engaged in since their last renewal. The intent of this bill is to ensure that all mortgage lenders and brokers, regardless of their regulator, are subject to the federal guidance on nontraditional mortgage product risks. Nontraditional loans are those that allow borrowers to defer repayment of principal, and in some cases, interest. Borrowers are given the opportunity to make relatively low payments during an initial low interest rate period in exchange for agreeing to make much higher payments during a later amortization period. Major components of the federal guidance include the following: 1) Financial institutions' analyses of borrowers' repayment capacity should include an evaluation of the consumer's ability to pay the fully indexed rate, not just the initial low introductory rate; 2) Institutions should avoid underwriting practices that will heighten the need for a borrower to rely on the sale or refinancing of the property once amortization begins; 3) Higher pricing of loans should not replace the need for sound underwriting; 4) Second mortgages with minimal or no owner equity should not have a payment structure that allows for delayed or negative amortization unless the risk is mitigated; 5) Institutions with high concentrations of nontraditional products should have good risk management practices and capital levels commensurate with risk; and, 6) Institutions that offer nontraditional mortgage products should inform the consumer of all possible risks in a clear, balanced and timely manner. In issuing the guidance in November 2006, the federal regulators urged states to work quickly to apply similar guidance to state-regulated entities engaged in mortgage lending and brokering.