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HB 1721 allows the Consumer Credit Commissioner to require any information, document, or fee owed to the commissioner to be submitted through the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System and Registry (NMLS). HB 1721’s goal is to create a “channeling agent for obtaining information required for licensing or registration purposes,” in fields including: consumer credit, debt counseling and education, credit service organizations, consumer loans, home loans, and commercial motor vehicle installment sales. The Commissioner can request criminal history information from any agency (including federal) and any civil, criminal, or administrative findings from any governmental jurisdiction, as well as any information considered relevant to the licensing and registration processes covered.
According to the NMLS Resource Center, state agencies can choose to make NMLS the official system for companies and individuals seeking to apply for, amend, renew and surrender license authorities relating to “non-depository, financial services.” NMLS strives to promote “improved coordination and information sharing among regulators, increased efficiencies for industry, and enhanced consumer protection.” NMLS does not grant or deny license authority and is owned and operated by the State Regulatory Registry, which is itself owned by the Conference of State Bank Supervisors. NMLS is not owned and operated by the Federal government.
Although the Consumer Credit Commissioner can already obtain any information relevant to licensing and registration for these industries under state law, the use of NMLS could make the regulatory process more efficient by making information more readily available for regulators. The use of NMLS, if it makes the regulatory process more efficient, will promote free markets by speeding up the licensing and registration process.
HB 1721 does, however, expand government and reduce individual liberty by allowing the commissioner to require individuals submit personal information into a national registry, albeit one that is not associated with the federal government, but with a consortium of state regulators.
Because HB 1721 might improve the regulatory process and promote free markets on the one hand, but expand government and reduce individual liberty on the other, TPPA will remain neutral.