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A Mortgage Loan Originator (MLO) is an individual who helps borrowers secure mortgage loans from lenders. MLOs are required to be licensed in many jurisdictions to ensure they meet certain education, testing, and ethical standards. Licensing requirements can vary by state and may include pre-licensing education, passing a national and state-specific exam, and undergoing a criminal background check. Mortgage Loan Originators (MLOs) play a crucial role in the mortgage lending process, connecting borrowers with lenders. MLOs are subject to various regulations and ethical standards to ensure fair and transparent practices. Here are some of the main obligations of Mortgage Loan Originators:


Licensing and Registration:

MLOs must obtain the necessary licenses or registrations to operate legally in their jurisdiction. This often involves completing pre-licensing education, passing a national and state-specific exam, and meeting other requirements.


Honesty and Integrity:

MLOs are expected to conduct themselves with honesty and integrity. Providing accurate and truthful information to borrowers, lenders, and other parties involved in the transaction is essential.


Duty to Serve the Borrower's Best Interest:

MLOs have a duty to serve the best interests of the borrower. This includes recommending mortgage products that are suitable for the borrower's financial situation and needs.


Fair Lending Practices:

MLOs must adhere to fair lending practices and avoid discriminatory practices. This involves treating all borrowers fairly and equally, regardless of factors such as race, ethnicity, gender, or other protected characteristics.


Disclosure Requirements:

MLOs are responsible for providing borrowers with clear and accurate information about loan terms, costs, and risks. This includes the provision of the Loan Estimate and Closing Disclosure forms as required by the Truth in Lending Act (TILA) and Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act (RESPA).



MLOs are obligated to maintain the confidentiality of borrower information. This includes protecting sensitive financial and personal information and only sharing it as allowed by law or with the borrower's consent.


Compliance with Laws and Regulations:

MLOs must stay informed about and comply with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations governing mortgage lending. This includes regular updates on changes in regulations and adherence to industry standards.


Anti-Fraud Measures:

MLOs are expected to take measures to prevent and detect fraud in mortgage transactions. This includes verifying information provided by borrowers and reporting any suspicious activities.


Continuing Education:

Many jurisdictions require MLOs to engage in continuing education to stay current with industry trends, regulatory changes, and best practices.



MLOs must maintain accurate and complete records of their mortgage transactions. This includes documentation of loan applications, disclosures, and other relevant paperwork.


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MLOs should be aware of the specific regulations in the jurisdictions in which they operate and strive to uphold ethical standards to ensure the integrity of the mortgage lending process.