New York has one of the most detailed applications for mortgage licenses and one of the longest timeframes in which to obtain the approval for the license. But the large population in the state coupled with some very high housing prices (and therefore mortgage budgets) make New York one of the most coveted licenses for a mortgage broker that can generate business in that state.
The lengthy process starts with word approval from the Banking Department if you are a corporation or limited liability company (LLC). Even if your company is out of-state, you need the Banking Department approval to use certain words in your company name. "Mortgage" is one of the words that require approval. If another company has a similar name, you will need to use a different name in New York. It takes about 2-3 weeks to get the approval.
Completing the application is where most of my clients stop cold. The personal questionnaire is 7 pages long and requests about your spouse, parents, dependents, professional references, personal references, military history, and 15 years of employment history in detail. It requests about your initial contribution to the company, outstanding debts in excess of $ 10,000, and your income sources.
New York requires 2 years of mortgage industry experience and the principal who has it must draft an affidavit detailing each company he / she has worked for, its address and telephone number, the supervisor that the principal worked for, and job duties.
New York also requires fingerprint cards and credit reports from all owners of more than 10% of the shares. LaTely, reviewers have been requesting leases and subleases for the office address, copies of licenses from other states, if applicable, copies of passports, and authentication from the county clerk confirming that the notary public that is used to notarize signatures on the application has a valid notary commission.
When you first submit the application, it goes through a preliminary review. If the application is deficient, the entire application is returned with a letter listing the shortcomings. When the application is re-submitted, it may be accepted for 90 day processing or it may be returned with another list of shortcomings. The first goal is to get the application accepted for 90 day review. The 90 days is not hard and fast and the applicant may be asked for additional documentation or clarification of documentation that is already part of the application. When you are asked to submit the $ 10,000 surety bond, you know you are near the end of the process.
If your application is approved, you must pick up the license in person at the Banking Department, even if you are from out-of-state. The Banking Department assigns you a date and time for the pick up and there is a meeting to explain certain requirements of maintaining your status as a licensee.
All together, the application process takes about 7-8 months from start to finish. Luckily, the license never expires.