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Ohio Residential Mortgage Lending Act Servicing Guidance

The Ohio Residential Mortgage Lending Act (RMLA) requires companies that engage in mortgage servicing to obtain a Certificate of Registration.  Individuals are encouraged to review all the questions and answers below, as well as the law before reaching out to the division.  Additional questions can be directed to the division by emailing WebDFI-CF@com.state.oh.us

My company services residential mortgage loans in Ohio and we do not currently hold an RMLA Certificate of Registration, where we do apply? 

The Division takes applications for the RMLA Certificate of Registration through the NMLS. Please review the requirements contained in the RMLA Certificate of Registration checklist before applying.  The checklist provides details where there are different requirements. 

My company wants to begin servicing loans and we already hold a Certificate of Registration under the RMLA, do we need to obtain a new license or registration? 

No. Companies that already hold a Certificate of Registration under the RMLA do not need to obtain any new or additional licenses or registrations under the new requirement.  If mortgage servicing is not listed as a business activity for your company in Ohio in NMLS, please update that information in the company’s Business Activities section of the NMLS to ensure it is accurate.

My company owns mortgage servicing rights but contracts with a servicer to collect on the loans, so we do not interact with borrowers. Do we need to obtain a Certificate of Registration? 

Yes. The definition contained in the law is: 

“Mortgage servicer” means an entity that, for itself or on behalf of the holder of a mortgage loan, holds the servicing rights, records mortgage payments on its books, or performs other functions to carry out the mortgage holder’s obligations or rights under the mortgage agreement including, when applicable, the receipt of funds from the mortgagor to be held in escrow for payment of real estate taxes and insurance premiums and the distribution of such funds to the taxing authority and insurance company.1 

1 R.C. 1322.01(AA), amended in Sub. H.B. No. 489

A company that holds mortgage servicing rights on its own behalf, but has determined to contract with another entity to service the loan, must still obtain a Certificate of Registration under this definition. The company that contracts to undertake the servicing activity must also obtain a Certificate of Registration.

My company only engages in mortgage servicing and not mortgage origination or mortgage brokering, are we required to license Mortgage Loan Originators (MLO) and/or have an Operations Manager (also called a Qualifying Individual) to obtain an RMLA Certificate of Registration? 

A company that only engages in servicing of residential mortgage loans under the RMLA will still be required to name an Operations Manager. That Operations Manager, unlike the Operations Manager for a company that engages in mortgage lending or mortgage brokering, does not need to be a licensed MLO and does not need to have three years of experience as an MLO prior to being designated as the Operations Manager.

Does my company need to have a physical location in Ohio to service residential mortgage loans? 

No. A company that has a physical presence, even if that physical location is not in Ohio, and otherwise meets the requirements for obtaining a registration, is permitted to operate under the statute.