How to Find an Honest Mortgage Broker When Refinancing


If you’re considering refinancing your home the right broker can get you the lowest refinance mortgage rates without lender junk fees. But how do you find the right broker for the job? How much should you pay for the loan origination fee? Here are several tips to help you find an honest mortgage broker for your next home loan.

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Mortgage Brokers Are Licensed by State

The first step in protecting you from an unscrupulous broker is to make sure the person you’re considering for the job is licensed. After the financial meltdown lawmakers in Congress raised the requirements for brokers to get their license in an attempt to protect homeowners from bad brokers. In order to be licensed as a mortgage broker there are national standards for things like the businesses net worth, professional education, and reporting disclosure requirements. This legislation is called the SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act and was intended to prevent fraud.

Is it working? Boatloads of brokers have gotten out of the business following the meltdown so I’d say some homeowner protection is better than no protection. The SAFE Mortgage Licensing Act created a national registry for broker licensing information allowing people to do their homework before hiring a broker. You can easily check to see if your mortgage company or broker is licensed by visiting the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (NMLS).

Always make sure your mortgage company or broker is licensed before requesting refinance quotes. Visit the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry at to view their license information.

Mortgage License Searches on NMLS

When you visit the NMLS website you simply need to enter the broker or company’s name. You’ll get a list of brokers and companies by State…simply click on the listing for your State. Once you pull up the individual company or broker at the bottom of the screen you’ll find information regarding State licenses. There is a header in the middle of the screen labeled “Authorized to Conduct Business” with a list of States the broker or company conducts business. If the broker’s license has lapsed you’ll see that in the list.

It’s always good idea when dealing with finance companies and professionals to do your homework first; checking the license of potential brokers can help protect your family from predatory lenders. The NMLS website is a good first step but it won’t tell you if your broker has ever been sanctioned to the Sate prior to this legislation. Your State regulator’s office will give you access to complaints and licensing problems that occurred before the new legislation was enacted.

You can learn more about getting today’s lowest mortgage refinance rates without paying too much for the loan origination fee or markup by checking out my free Underground Mortgage Videos.

Mortgage Licensing Regulators by State

Alabama State Banking Department
AL – Alabama
Telephone: 334-242-3452
Fax: 334-353-5961

State of Alaska Department Commerce, Community & Economic Development
AK – Alaska
Telephone: 907-269-5496
Fax: 907-269-8146

Arizona Department of Financial Institutions
AZ – Arizona
Telephone: 602-771-2800
Fax: 602-381-1225

Arkansas Securities Department
AR – Arkansas
Telephone: 501-324-8696
Fax: 501-324-9268

California Department of Corporations
CA – California (Dept. of Corporations)
Telephone: 213-576-7609
Fax: 213-576-7178

State of California Department of Real Estate
CA – California (Dept. of Real Estate)
Telephone: 916-227-0782
Fax: 916-227-0777

Department of Regulatory Agencies
CO – Colorado (Dept. of Regulatory Agencies)
Telephone: 303-894-2424
Fax: 303-894-2683

State of Colorado Uniform Consumer Credit Code
CO – Colorado (Uniform Consumer Credit Code)
Telephone: 303-866-4494
Fax: 303-866-5474

Connecticut Department of Banking
CT – Connecticut
Telephone: 860-240-8203
Fax: 860-622-4970

Office of the State Bank Commissioner
DE – Delaware
Telephone: 302-739-4235
Fax: 302-739-2356

Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking
DC – District of Columbia
Telephone: 202-442-7845
Fax: 202-354-1093

Florida Office of Financial Regulation
FL – Florida
Telephone: 850-410-9848
Fax: 850-410-9914

Florida Office of Financial Regulation
FL – Florida
Telephone: 850-410-9544
Fax: 850-410-9914

Georgia Department of Banking and Finance
GA – Georgia
Telephone: 770-986-1371
Fax: 770-986-1029

Idaho Department of Finance
ID – Idaho
Telephone: 208-332-8060
Fax: 208-332-8096

Illinois Dept. of Financial & Professional Regulation, Div of Banking
IL – Illinois
Telephone: 312-793-3000
Fax: 312-793-1490

Department of Financial Institutions
IN – Indiana
Telephone: 317-232-3955
Fax: 317-232-7655

Secretary of State, Securities Division
IN – Indiana (Sec. of State, Securities Div.)
Telephone: 317-232-6681
Fax: 317-232-6587

Iowa Division of Banking
IA – Iowa
Telephone: 515-281-4014
Fax: 515-281-4862

Kansas Office of State Bank Commissioner
KS – Kansas
Telephone: 785-296-2266
Fax: 785-296-0168

Kentucky Department of Financial Institutions
KY – Kentucky
Telephone: 502-573-3390
Fax: 502-573-8787

Louisiana Office of Financial Institutions
LA – Louisiana
Telephone: 225-922-2596
Fax: 225-925-4524

Maine Bureau of Consumer Credit Protection
ME – Maine
Telephone: 207-624-8527
Fax: 207-582-7699

Maryland Commissioner of Financial Regulation
MD – Maryland
Telephone: 410-230-6078
Fax: 410-685-6542

Massachusetts Division of Banks and Loan Agencies
MA – Massachusetts
Telephone: 617-956-1543
Fax: 617-956-1598

Mortgage Examination & Investigation Section
MI – Michigan
Telephone: 517-373-0237
Fax: 517-241-4820

Office of Financial and Insurance Services
MI – Michigan
Telephone: 517-335-2073
Fax: 517-335-1501

Minnesota Department of Commerce
MN – Minnesota
Telephone: 651-297-5281
Fax: 651-296-4328

Minnesota Department of Commerce
MN – Minnesota
Telephone: 651-296-0856
Fax: 651-296-8591

Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance
MS – Mississippi
Telephone: 601-359-1031
Fax: 601-359-3557

Missouri Division of Finance
MO – Missouri
Telephone: 573-751-3242
Fax: 573-751-9192

Montana Division of Banking and Financial Institutions
MT – Montana
Telephone: (406)841-2920
Fax: (406)841-2930

Nebraska Department of Banking and Finance
NE – Nebraska
Telephone: 402-471-2171
Fax: 402-471-3062

Nevada Division of Mortgage Lending
NV – Nevada
Telephone: 702-486-0789
Fax: 702-486-0785

New Hampshire Banking Department
NH – New Hampshire
Telephone: 603-271-3561
Fax: 603-271-0750

New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance
NJ – New Jersey
Telephone: 609-292-7272 x50243
Fax: 609-633-0822

New Mexico Financial Institutions Division
NM – New Mexico
Telephone: 505-476-4566
Fax: 505-476-4670

New York State Banking Department
NY – New York
Telephone: 212-709-5540
Fax: 212-709-5555

North Carolina Office of the Commissioner of Banks
NC – North Carolina
Telephone: 919-733-4680
Fax: 919-733-2978

North Dakota Department of Financial Institutions
ND – North Dakota
Telephone: 701-328-9933
Fax: 701-328-0290

Ohio Division of Financial Institutions
OH – Ohio
Telephone: 614-728-8400
Fax: 614-222-3672

Department of Consumer Credit
OK – Oklahoma
Telephone: 405-521-3653
Fax: 405-521-6740

Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services
OR – Oregon
Telephone: 503-947-7475
Fax: 503-947-7862

PA Department of Banking
PA – Pennsylvania
Telephone: 717-783-8242
Fax: 717-787-8773

South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs
SC – South Carolina
Telephone: 803-734-4198
Fax: 803-734-4231

SC Board of Financial Institutions – Consumer Fin. Div.
SC – South Carolina (Board of Fin Inst)
Telephone: 803-734-2020
Fax: 803-734-2025

South Dakota Division of Banking
SD – South Dakota
Telephone: 605-773-3422
Fax: 866-326-7504

Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions
TN – Tennessee
Telephone: 615-741-2236
Fax: 615-532-1018

Texas Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner
TX – Texas (Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner)
Telephone: 512-936-7640
Fax: 512-936-7610

Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending
TX – Texas (Dept. of Savings & Mortgage)
Telephone: 512-475-1353
Fax: 512-475-1505

Utah Division of Real Estate
UT – Utah
Telephone: 801-530-6744
Fax: 801-526-4387

Vermont Department of Banking, Insurance, Securities & Health Care Administration
VT – Vermont
Telephone: 802-828-4878
Fax: 802-828-1477

Virginia State Corporation Commission
VA – Virginia
Telephone: 804-371-9701
Fax: 804-371-9416

Washington Department of Financial Institutions
WA – Washington
Telephone: 360-902-0511
Fax: 360-704-7030

West Virginia Division of Banking
WV – West Virginia
Telephone: 304-558-2294
Fax: 304-558-0442

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
WI – Wisconsin
Telephone: 608-261-7578
Fax: 608-267-6889

Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
WI – Wisconsin
Telephone: 608-266-0447
Fax: 608-267-6889

Wyoming Division of Banking
WY – Wyoming
Telephone: 307-777-7797
Fax: 307-777-3555

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark November 21, 2011 at 4:38 pm

Great article! Anyone looking to buy a home MUST research who they are working with and the same is so very true when it comes to refinancing! It really is sad that there are less than honest people in the world but forewarned is forearmed!


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