On Monday the Colorado Division of Real Estate inactivated 4,560 mortgage broker licenses. There remain 4,252 licensed mortgage brokers in the state.
They’re all gone. They’re just gone!
What happened? Is it because who the hell wants to have anything to do with mortgages anymore? Is it like the priesthood, a vocation for an era past? Was there a cultish broker pact of some sort, where if you didn’t land a Denver skyscraper or Aspen hotel deal this year you had to quit? Or was the state just fed up with mortgage brokers and decided now was the time to thin the ranks?
None of it. The great Colorado mortgage-broker falloff of August 2009 comes as a result of bureaucratic inattention.
The action stems from a state mortgage broker licensing law that went into effect on Jan. 1, 2008. Although all of the state’s brokers were automatically licensed at the time, they had one year to fulfill the same requirements as new applicants, which include completing 40 hours of licensing education and passing a written test.
A year and a half later, about half of them hadn’t fulfilled all of the requirements, despite a time extension.
The Division of Real Estate stepped up its warnings in late July, emailing brokers twice a week to remind them that they faced inactivation on Aug. 31.
It’s unclear how many of those brokers remain active. Some may have left the business; others may be working for banks or other federally regulated institutions, where they aren’t required to have a state license.
That post-it that’s been plastered to the dashboard for six months? You can take that down now.
Also, watch for the yard signs and tweets: “Why does Gov. Ritter hate your mortgage broker license?”