WASHINGTON (7/29/10)--The National Credit Union Administration (NCUA) and the other federal financial regulators have released the final rule implementing the Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) for Mortgage Licensing Act and it is effective Oct. 1. Published in the Federal Register Wednesday, the SAFE Act final rule implements the new law that requires all residential loan originators that work for federally regulated financial institutions to register with a new Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry. The SAFE regulations require that credit unions and other financial institutions adopt policies to assure that their employees who originate residential mortgages provide the required information (such as fingerprints and employment history), obtain a unique identifying number, and register. However, compliance with the registration requirement is not required until 180 days after the agencies provide public notice that the registry is accepting initial registrations. Financial institutions that are covered under the SAFE Act are also required to adopt and implement written policies and procedures to ensure compliance with these the law’s requirements. The SAFE Act also requires lenders to tailor these policies to best meet the nature, size, complexity, and scope of their mortgage lending activities. Only bank and credit union employees are subject to the registration procedures. Others engaged in residential mortgage lending, including employees of credit union service organization (CUSOs), are subject to more extensive state licensing procedures that include not only registration and having a unique identifier number, but also periodic testing. The rules also apply to privately insured credit unions when certain conditions are met and agreements reached between the National Credit Union Administration and the state regulator. Otherwise, these privately insured credit unions will need to be registered and licensed under state law.