As a result of regulatory reforms signed into law by Gov. Edward G. Rendell in 2008, the ""Pennsylvania Department of Banking"":http://www.banking.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/banking_home/14319 said it increased enforcement activity in the mortgage industry in 2009.[IMAGE]
Last year, the department suspended 542 mortgage companies and professionals for violations such as failure to obtain bonding, inadequate supervision of employees, and not completing criminal background check and education requirements. It also revoked the licenses of/banned 28 individuals and companies from engaging in the mortgage business in Pennsylvania.[COLUMN_BREAK]
The department issued 25 cease-and-desist orders against companies that were conducting either completely unlicensed activities or were harming consumers with improper business practices. Furthermore, it denied mortgage licenses to 16 individuals in 2009, and 48 others surrendered licenses or withdrew their applications rather than face revocation or denial.
In March 2009, the department began enforcing new rules requiring mortgage companies to document an applicant's ability to repay the loan. By the end of the year, 17 companies were penalized for failing to develop policies to meet this requirement.
""As a direct result of the changes in our law, we are implementing higher standards and enhancing professionalism in the mortgage industry,"" said Steve Kaplan, secretary of banking. ""Pennsylvania citizens expect the individuals and companies licensed by the Department of Banking to conduct their business according to these new standards and we are making sure that these expectations are met.""