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Who Needs an MOS License

Licensing is nationwide and the need for a license is determined by the Minnesota residential mortgage services you offer.

A mortgage loan originator is an individual who for compensation or gain or in the expectation of compensation or gain takes a residential mortgage loan application or offers or negotiates terms of a residential mortgage loan. An individual may not engage in the mortgage loan business unless employed and supervised by a licensed residential mortgage originator company or exempt entity under Chapter 58. In addition, any loan processor or underwriter who is an independent contractor of a residential mortgage originator company must obtain a mortgage loanoriginator license to engage in these activities.

Residential Mortgage Originator

An originator includes a broker and lender, and is a person who directly or indirectly, for compensation or gain or in expectation of compensation or gain, solicits or offers to solicit, or accepts or offers to accept an application for a residential mortgage loan through any medium or mode of communication from a borrower, or makes a residential mortgage loan. The originators license is required when an offer of residential mortgage originator services is made to a borrower in Minnesota, or when the residential mortgage originator is located in Minnesota. An offer is defined as "any advertisement or solicitation of any type, including an advertisement or solicitation in newspapers and magazines, by mail, by telephone, on television, on radio, or via the Internet or any other electronic medium of any kind, for residential mortgage originator services. The term "offer" excludes an advertisement or solicitation that specifically states that the services are not available to Minnesota residents."

Residential Mortgage Servicer

A servicer is a person who engages in the activity of servicing a residential mortgage through any medium or mode of communication the collection or remittance for, or the right or obligation to collect or remit for a lender, mortgagee, note owner, noteholder, or for a person's own account, of payments, interest, principal, and escrow items such as insurance and taxes for property subject to a residential mortgage loan. The servicing license is required when the residential mortgage loan borrower is a resident of Minnesota.

An applicant for a residential mortgage originator company license must be a corporation or other business entity.

  • The company/business entity must have and maintain a surety bond in an amount of at least $100,000 on the 8/2010 form.

  • No person shall act as a residential mortgage originator company, or make residential mortgage loans without first obtaining a license from the commissioner according to the licensing procedures provided in Chapter 58 or 58A.

  • The department cannot license natural persons as residential mortgage originator companies.


An out-of-state mortgage company does not need a physical presence in Minnesota. However, registration as a foreign corporation with the Minnesota Secretary of State may be required.

Branch Offices

Each branch office physically located in Minnesota must complete and submit an MU3 form through the NMLS website.

FHA,VA, HUD approved?

Companies that are FHA, VA, or HUD approved must meet all licensing requirements. They are NOT exempt from the residential mortgage originator licensing requirements.

No license or exemption required

Banks, savings banks, savings associations or credit unions (or any subsidiary) that are subject to supervision by a federal regulatory agency or the Commissioner of Commerce do not need licenses or exemptions. However, many of the standards of conduct and the prepayment penalty law do apply.

If an entity is licensed as a residential mortgage originator, it does not need a separate servicer license. A mortgage servicer must provide a $100,000 surety bond or letter of credit. However, a servicer approved by FNMA or FHLMC would not have to provide a bond or letter of credit.