Washington, D.C.—Anne Balcer Norton, Deputy Commissioner of the Maryland Office of the Commissioner of Financial Regulation, testified on behalf of the Conference of State Bank Supervisors (CSBS) before the Insurance, Housing and Community Opportunity Subcommittee of the House Financial Services Committee on mortgage origination today. Norton detailed efforts by state regulators to improve and enhance mortgage regulation to better protect consumers and to strengthen the mortgage market itself, but also to ensure a diverse mortgage industry which supports a variety of business models.
In her testimony, Norton discussed changes and improvements made to mortgage supervision over the past few years and acknowledged the policy and regulatory response to the recent financial crisis remains a work in progress, involving Congress, as well as state and federal regulators. Norton discussed state efforts to establish a new framework of mortgage supervision through the development and launch of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). “NMLS was conceptualized and created by state regulators to unify state mortgage supervision in a single framework,” Norton said before the Subcommittee. “NMLS provides the foundation for coordinated, consistent, and comprehensive supervision of the mortgage industry.”
Norton also credited Congress for codifying NMLS into federal law by enacting the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act of 2008 (SAFE Act), thereby creating an integrated and comprehensive state-federal approach to mortgage supervision.
Norton concluded her testimony by touching on the industry anxiety state regulators are witness to as a result of the Dodd-Frank Act and other regulatory initiatives currently underway. “The challenge for policymakers—and for the regulators who implement these policies—is to create a regulatory framework that ensures industry professionalism and accountability,” Norton stated. “We must also avoid unnecessary regulatory inefficiencies and burdens. For state regulators, policies and approaches that encourage regulatory collaboration and coordination and that support regulatory innovation have been vital to striking this balance.”
The full testimony is available here.