SAFE Act: What you need to know

The SAFE Act requires that loan originators must meet minimum federal requirements. Okay, no problem — on June 30 HUD published those minimum standards, and they’ll be enforced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau starting August 29.

So, you say, how does that matter to Realtors®? Two words: Seller financing.

According to the SAFE Act, you’re considered a loan originator if you “in a commercial context and habitually or repeatedly, take a residential mortgage loan application and offer or negotiate terms of a residential mortgage loan for compensation or gain.”

So if you do handle a lot of seller-financed deals, you may find yourself crossing the line into loan originatorship. “How many deals?” you might reasonably ask. Tough break: HUD hasn’t said. As NAR put it in its SAFE Act FAQs: “HUD chose not to decide how frequently an individual may provide financing before reaching the requisite degree of habitualness. NAR expects CFPB to defer to reasonable state laws on the number of seller financing transactions that would trigger licensing, but only time will tell.”

Want more info? No problem. Hop over to NAR’s seller-financing page ( to get the details.

About Andrew Kantor

Andrew is VAR's editor and information manager, and -- lessee now -- a former reporter for the Roanoke Times, former technology columnist for USA Today, and a former magazine editor for a bunch of places. He hails from New York with stops in Connecticut, New Jersey, Cincinnati, Columbus, and Roanoke.
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