32-9-123. Surety bond requirement -- notice of legal action. (1) (a) A mortgage loan originator must be covered by a surety bond in accordance with this section. If a mortgage loan originator is an employee of a licensed mortgage lender or mortgage broker, the surety bond of the licensed mortgage lender or mortgage broker may be used in lieu of a mortgage loan originator's surety bond.
(b) The bond must run to the state of Montana as obligee and must run first to the benefit of the borrower and then to the benefit of the state and any person who suffers loss by reason of the obligor's or its loan originator's violation of any provision of this part or rules adopted under this part. The department shall use the proceeds of the surety bonds to reimburse borrowers, the department, or bona fide third parties who successfully demonstrate a financial loss because of an act of a mortgage broker, mortgage lender, mortgage servicer, or mortgage loan originator that violates any provision of this part.
(2) (a) An entity licensed as a mortgage broker, mortgage lender, and mortgage servicer is required to maintain one surety bond for each entity license.
(b) The amount of the required surety bond must be calculated by combining the annual loan production amounts for all persons originating residential mortgage loans and for all business locations of the mortgage broker or mortgage lender and must be in the following amount:
(i) $25,000 for a combined annual loan production that does not exceed $50 million a year;
(ii) $50,000 for annual loan production of $50 million but not exceeding $100 million a year; or
(iii) $100,000 for annual loan production of more than $100 million a year.
(c) The amount of the required surety bond for a mortgage servicer is $100,000.
(3) A mortgage broker, mortgage lender, mortgage servicer, or mortgage loan originator shall give notice to the department by certified mail or through the NMLS within 15 days of the mortgage broker, mortgage lender, mortgage servicer, or mortgage loan originator obtaining knowledge of the initiation of an investigation or the entry of a judgment in a criminal or civil action. The notice must be given if the investigation or the legal action is in any state and involves a mortgage broker, a mortgage lender, a mortgage servicer, a mortgage loan originator, or anyone having an ownership interest in a mortgage broker entity, mortgage lender entity, or mortgage servicer entity. In the case of a legal action, the notice must include a copy of the criminal or civil judgment.
(4) (a) An obligor shall give written notice to the department through the NMLS of any action that may be brought against it by any creditor or borrower when the action:
(i) is brought under this part;
(ii) involves a claim against the bond filed with the department for the purposes of compliance with this section; or
(iii) involves a claim for damages in excess of $20,000 for a mortgage broker or mortgage loan originator or $200,000 for a mortgage lender or mortgage servicer.
(b) An obligor shall give written notice to the department through the NMLS of any judgment that may be entered against it by any creditor or any borrower or prospective borrower.
(c) The written notice must provide details sufficient to identify the action or judgment and must be submitted within 30 days after the commencement of any action or within 30 days after the entry of any judgment.
(5) A corporate surety shall, within 10 days after it pays any claim or judgment to any claimant, give written notice to the department of the payment with details sufficient to identify the claimant and the claim or judgment paid. Whenever the principal sum of a required bond is reduced by one or more recoveries or payments on the bond, the obligor shall furnish a new or additional bond so that the total or aggregate principal sum of the bond or bonds equals the sum required under this section or the obligor shall furnish an endorsement duly executed by the corporate surety reinstating the bond to the required principal sum.
(6) A bond filed with the department or with the NMLS for the purpose of compliance with this section may not be canceled by the obligor or the corporate surety except upon written notice to the department through the NMLS. The cancellation may not take effect until 30 days after receipt by the department of the notice. The cancellation is effective only with respect to any occurrence after the effective date of the cancellation. (See part compiler's comment regarding contingent suspension.)