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2019 Mortgage Report

The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS) is the system of record for nonbank financial services licensing and bank mortgage loan originator registration. It is owned and operated by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors on behalf of state regulators. You can download the full version of this report here.

Nonbank mortgage loan originators (MLOs) are required to obtain a state license in every state in which they operate. Depository institution (bank or credit union) MLOs are federally registered in NMLS and not required to hold state licenses. 

Mortgage loan originator employment 

  • Total mortgage loan originator (MLO) employment is flat overall.   
  • MLOs who originated at least one loan in the quarter rose 4.9% nationwide while active MLOs rose 11% at the 10 largest nonbank companies (by origination volume). 
  • State-licensed MLOs operating in more than ten states decreased 8.8% while those in just one state decreased 0.3%. State licensed MLOs operating in 21 or more states decreased 9.6%.
Year Total MLO Employment Individuals (nonbank) Individuals (depository) Companies (nonbank) Companies (depository)
2019 581,094 165,116 415,978 18,253 8,878
2018 580,757 165,240 415,517 17,572 9,196
2017 579,900 158,200 421,700 17,000 9,500
2016 567,800 145,200 422,600 16,300 9,800

Market share by business model (nonbank) 

The 240 nonbank companies licensed in more than 25 states originated 56 percent of loans. The 9,346 companies operating in one state originated 14% of the total. 

Nationwide companies are those operating in more than 25 states.
Regional companies are those operating in 2-25 states.
Virtual companies are those whose number of state licenses held exceed their number of branch locations.
Physical companies are those whose number of branch locations exceed their number of state licenses held.

Loan Originations by Purpose 

Forward loan originations by nonbank companies increased 82% since last year. The annual increase was driven by refinancing, which increased 280% percent from Q4 2018.