Thursday, December 26, 2013

New Seller Finance Requirements

1. New Federal Rules
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau ("CFPB") recently issued several final rules concerning mortgage markets pursuant to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act ("Dodd-Frank Act").  One of these rules clarifies the definition of "loan originator" and outlines conditions under which "seller-financers" are exempt from the definition. 

In short, in order for a seller to finance a sale and not be considered a "loan originator" and subject to comprehensive regulation, the seller and the loan must meet the following requirements: 
  • The seller must be a natural person, estate, or trust (and not a loan originator);
  • The seller must not have financed the sale of another property within the past 12 months;
  • The seller must not have constructed or acted as a contractor for the construction of a residence on the property in the ordinary course of the seller's business;
  • The repayment schedule must not result in a negative amortization; and
  • The financing must have a fixed rate of interest or an adjustable rate of interest that is adjustable after five or more years, subject to reasonable annual and lifetime limitations on interest rate increases.
There is another federal exemption for sellers who can finance up to three sales per year.  However, those requirements are quite burdensome.  As always, you should seek legal counsel regarding seller financing issues.

2. Washington State Requirements
In Washington, there is not currently an automatic statutory exemption under the Consumer Loan Act (RCW 31.04) similar to the federal exemption. The Consumer Loan Act gives the Director of the Department of Financial Institutions ("DFI") the authority to waive the licensing provisions for loan originators under certain circumstances. See RCW 31.04.025(3).

NWMLS understands that DFI routinely grants waivers for typical seller financing transactions. DFI has announced plans to review and possibly change its rules in the near future to consider standards for allowing exemptions. NWMLS will track the rulemaking process and notify the membership of any changes and future revisions to [its forms]. For more information on obtaining a waiver from DFI, contact Cindy Fazio at (360) 902-8800 or

This blog re-posted from the Northwest Multiple List Service.

Happy Investing!

No comments: