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Social Media and NMLS Unique Identifiers

Q: Am I required to ensure that NMLS Unique Identifiers appear on my employees' LinkedIn, Facebook and other Social Media pages?

A: To the extent the name of your company appears on any social media utilized by a mortgage loan originator ("MLO"), the company's NMLS Unique Identifier should be set forth in a clear and conspicuous manner. We are even aware that, most recently, some state banking departments, such as New Mexico and Oklahoma, have fined lenders where their unlicensed employees failed to list the company's NMLS Unique Identifier on personal social media pages that listed the company's name.

With respect to the NMLS Unique Identifier of a MLO, it is a best practice to list it on the MLO's personal social media pages if the MLO mentions that he or she is a loan originator working on behalf of the company. It should be noted, however, that the requirement to list the NMLS Unique Identifier may depend on what is stated on the MLO's personal social media page as well as the states in which the company and/or MLO operate. Any commercial message promoting a credit transaction must adhere to all state and federal advertising rules which exceed merely listing the company's and MLO's NMLS Unique Identifier.

So how do you manage this? It is a best practice to determine what social media pages a MLO utilizes at the time of onboarding, in addition to ensuring the MLO knows and understands the company's social media and advertising rules. It is also essential that you train your MLOs and entire staff on both federal and state advertising requirements. This should be done at initial hire, follow with consistent reminders (no less than semi-annually), as well as annual recurring training. You should also perform random social media audits and monitoring to identify any possible violations and prove to regulators that you are proactive in monitoring social media compliance. Additionally, it is a best practice to ensure any MLO departing the company (voluntarily or involuntarily) removes his or her affiliation with your company in a timely manner, so as to avoid potential UDAAP (Unfair Deceptive Abuse Acts and Practices) issues.

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