Montana Code Annotated 2021



Part 1. Montana Mortgage Act

Department Authority -- Rulemaking

32-9-130. Department authority -- rulemaking. (1) The department shall adopt rules necessary to carry out the intent and purposes of this part. The rules adopted are binding on all licensees and enforceable as provided under this part.

(2) The rules must address:

(a) revocation or suspension of licenses for cause;

(b) investigation of applicants, licensees, and unlicensed persons alleged to have violated a provision of this part and handling of complaints made by any person in connection with any business transacted by a licensee;

(c) (i) ensuring that all persons are informed of their right to contest a decision by the department under the Montana Administrative Procedure Act; and

(ii) holding contested case hearings pursuant to the Montana Administrative Procedure Act and issuing cease and desist orders, orders of restitution, and orders for the recovery of administrative costs; and

(d) establishing fees for license renewals.

(3) The department may adopt rules:

(a) regarding the mortgage servicer capital requirements provided in 32-9-171; and

(b) defining supervisory requirements for designated managers.

(4) The department may seek a writ or order restraining or enjoining, temporarily or permanently, any act or practice violating any provision of this part.

(5) (a) For the purposes of investigating violations or complaints arising under this part or for the purposes of examination, the department may review, investigate, or examine any licensee, service provider, or person subject to this part as often as necessary in order to carry out the purposes of this part.

(b) The commissioner of banking and financial institutions may direct, subpoena, or order the attendance of and may examine under oath any person whose testimony may be required about the subject matter of any examination or investigation and may direct, subpoena, or order the person to produce books, accounts, records, files, and any other documents the commissioner of banking and financial institutions considers relevant to the inquiry.

(6) Each licensee, service provider, or person subject to this part shall make available to the department upon request the documents and records relating to the operations of the licensee or person. The department may access the documents and records and may interview the officers, principals, mortgage loan originators, employees, independent contractors, service providers, agents, or customers of the licensee or person concerning the business of the licensee or person or any other person having knowledge that the department considers relevant.

(7) (a) The department may conduct investigations and examinations for the purposes of initial licensing, license renewal, license suspension, license conditioning, license revocation, or license termination or to determine compliance with this part.

(b) The department has the authority to access, receive, and use any books, accounts, records, files, documents, information, or evidence, including but not limited to:

(i) criminal, civil, and administrative history information, including confidential criminal justice information as defined in 44-5-103;

(ii) personal history and experience information, including independent credit reports obtained from a consumer reporting agency described in section 603(p) of the Fair Credit Reporting Act, 15 U.S.C. 1681, et seq.; and

(iii) any other documents, information, or evidence the department considers relevant to an inquiry or investigation regardless of the location, possession, control, or custody of the documents, information, or evidence.

(8) (a) The total cost for any examination or investigation must be in accordance with fees determined by the department by rule pursuant to this section and may include expenses for necessary travel outside the state for the purposes of conducting the examination or investigation. The fees set by the department must be commensurate with the cost of the examination or investigation. All fees collected under this section must be deposited in the department's account in the state special revenue fund to be used by the department to cover the department's cost of conducting examinations and investigations.

(b) The cost of an examination or investigation must be paid by the licensee, service provider, or person within 30 days after the date of the invoice. Failure to pay the cost of an examination or investigation when due must result in the suspension or revocation of a licensee's license.

(9) (a) The department may:

(i) exchange information with federal and state regulatory agencies, the attorney general, the attorney general's consumer protection office, and the legislative auditor;

(ii) exchange information other than confidential information with the mortgage asset research institute, inc., and other similar organizations; and

(iii) refer any matter to the appropriate law enforcement agency for prosecution of a violation of this part.

(b) To carry out the purposes of this section, the department may:

(i) enter into agreements or relationships with other government officials or regulatory associations to improve efficiencies and reduce the regulatory burden by sharing resources, adopting standardized or uniform methods or procedures, and sharing documents, records, information, or evidence obtained under this part, including agreements to maintain the confidentiality of information under laws, rules, or evidentiary privileges of another state, the federal government, or this state;

(ii) retain attorneys, accountants, or other professionals and specialists as examiners, auditors, or investigators to conduct or assist in the conduct of examinations or investigations;

(iii) use, hire, contract, or employ public or privately available analytical systems, methods, or software to examine or investigate the licensee or person subject to this part;

(iv) accept and rely on examination or investigation reports by other government officials, within or outside of this state, without the loss of any privileges or confidentiality protection afforded by state or federal laws, rules, or evidentiary privileges that cover those reports;

(v) accept audit reports made by an independent certified public accountant for the licensee or person subject to this part if the examination or investigation covers at least in part the same general subject matter as the audit report and may incorporate the audit report in the report of the examination, report of the investigation, or other writing of the department under this part; and

(vi) assess against the licensee or person subject to this part the costs incurred by the department in conducting the examination or investigation.

(c) Except as provided in 32-9-160 and subsection (9)(a)(i) of this section, the department shall treat all confidential criminal justice information as confidential unless otherwise required by law.

(10) Pursuant to section 1508(d) of the Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing Act, Title V of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, Public Law 110-289, the department is authorized to:

(a) supervise and enforce the provisions of this part, including the suspension, termination, revocation, or nonrenewal of a license for violation of state or federal law;

(b) participate in the NMLS;

(c) ensure that all mortgage broker, mortgage lender, and mortgage loan originator applicants under this part apply for state licensure and pay any required nonrefundable fees to and maintain a valid unique identifier issued by the NMLS; and

(d) regularly report violations of state or federal law and enforcement actions to the NMLS. (See part compiler's comment regarding contingent suspension.)

History: En. Sec. 19, Ch. 516, L. 2003; amd. Sec. 4, Ch. 136, L. 2005; amd. Sec. 16, Ch. 498, L. 2007; amd. Sec. 31, Ch. 321, L. 2009; amd. Sec. 30, Ch. 317, L. 2011; amd. Sec. 23, Ch. 125, L. 2013; amd. Sec. 13, Ch. 24, L. 2015; amd. Sec. 8, Ch. 65, L. 2019.