NMLS released its 2013 NMLS Mortgage Industry Report and Activity Data (available on the NMLS Resource center) on May 9, 2014. While NMLS has been releasing high-level aggregate licensing data for several years, this is the first time that the report has included aggregate loan data by state and loan purpose as well as average loan data for Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs) by state that is available to the public. 

Gathering this information is made possible, in part, by NMLS’ data analytics program which pulls the data out of the quarterly Mortgage Call Reports (MCRs) submitted by licensees. The MCR is in its third form revision and as regulators continue to review the format of the report and the quality of data submitted additional updates will be necessary.

Why should a licensee care? Regulators will use this additional information to flag companies that are outside of the “average” for increased examination scrutiny. Expect to see regulators becoming more insistent on MCR data accuracy in the near future as state-level examiners receive more access to this data and receive more training about how the data can be used in an examination context. How a licensee compares to its peer institutions will become more relevant as regulators use this data to perform risk-based scoping for examinations on a local and national level. Licensees can use this data as well to see how their MLOs are performing relative to their peers on average in licensed states and perhaps find new areas where there is opportunity to expand their business activities or strengthen their current presence. 

Licensees can also use the regular quarterly license data released by NMLS (the 2014 Q1 report is available as of June 11, 2014) to see trends in licensing and extrapolate average processing times and likelihood of approval for new applications. For example, for 2014 Q1 there were 29,129 new MLO applications submitted nationwide, but regulators reported 29,188 approvals, 177 denials, and 2,592 withdrawn applications. Some simple math will show that regulators were working with a backlog of new MLO applications (likely due to renewal processing demands) which would have likely led to slower processing times in Q1. This data is available on a state-by-state level so you can research jurisdictions you are interested in and best determine your strategy for getting new MLOs licensed and working quickly.