Last-Minute Tips for Brokers and Leasing Agents to Beat the September 30 Renewal Deadline

Deadline Clock

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) previously announced that all professional licenses with expirations between March 30, 2020 and July 31, 2020 were extended through September 30, 2020. As a result, the deadline to complete post-license and/or continuing education was also extended through September 30, 2020. For real estate licensees, this change impacts Brokers (formerly 4/30/2020) and Residential Leasing Agents (formerly 7/31/2020).

The license renewal deadline for Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents is only weeks away. For those who have yet to renew their licenses, this can cause panic. But it doesn’t have to.

Follow the steps below to maintain your license. Each step offers tips on the fastest way to stay compliant (so you can keep working).

Complete Your Education

Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents in Illinois are required to complete education before renewing their license. The type and amount of education depends on when your license was issued. Find out the original issue date of your license using the IDFPR license lookup.

  • Brokers whose licenses were issued before 2/1/2018 require 12 hours of core/elective continuing education (CE). The specific CE requirements have changed for the 2020 renewal and include two new required courses: 4-Hour Core and Sexual Harassment Prevention training. All of Real Estate Institute’s CE courses are compliant with new education requirements. While live classes are permitted and remain available, online distance education is the fastest and most flexible option.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued from 2/1/2018 – 11/1/2019 are renewing for the first time and must complete a Broker Post-License program (instead of continuing education).
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued after 11/1/2019 were issued licenses that expire on April 30, 2022. While renewal is not required at this time, there are compelling reasons to complete a 45-hour Broker Post-License program sooner, rather than later, including increased supervision requirements until post-license is completed.
  • Residential Leasing Agents whose licenses were issued before 5/1/2018 require 6 hours of core continuing education (CE). Those licensed after 5/1/2018 are exempt from CE because this is their first renewal.

Renew Your License

Most Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents know that they must pay the renewal fee to the IDFPR but are unsure of the exact process. Read the following for specific details about the renewal process:

  • After completing your required education, you may renew the license. The IDFPR license renewal fee is $150 for Brokers and $100 for Residential Leasing Agents for the two-year period.
    (Tip: This close to the deadline, it is important to find an education provider that will quickly issue your certificate of completion.)
  • The IDFPR strongly encourages Brokers to renew online. You may have received a PIN via e-mail from the IDFPR.
    (Tip: It’s not needed to renew. The license number, plus one of the following is needed to renew: Social Security number, date of birth or the IDFPR-issued PIN. A paper-based renewal form is also available to print with this information.)
  • Licensees who completed a change of sponsor or updated any of their personal contact information after 2/1/2020 may not be able to renew online. If you are unable to renew online, you will need to print a paper renewal form and mail it in with your payment. Mailed renewal forms must be received prior to the renewal deadline to be considered on-time.
  • Reminder: Renewing a license without completing the required education will likely lead to penalties or fees. Make sure your education is complete prior to submitting your renewal.
  • You can begin the renewal process by visiting the IDFPR website.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 25 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.

 

Are COVID-19 Losses Covered by Insurance?

Coronavirus surgical mask doctor wearing face protective mask against corona virus banner panoramic medical professional preventive gear.

Along with the obvious public health concerns, the COVID-19 pandemic raises several questions about insurance. Will my health insurer cover testing? Can my business make a claim for lost income?

Although the answers from carriers, regulators and courts might change as the situation evolves, here’s how some of the most common insurance products are expected to respond to coronavirus-related losses.

Health Insurance

Federal and state governments will pay for lab tests associated with COVID-19. However, hospitals might charge their own fees for collecting specimens and can pass those expenses along to consumers. For health plans regulated by the Illinois Department of Insurance, emergency care from an out-of-network provider (including ambulatory services and hospital care) must be billed as if it were from an in-network provider. Similarly, patients at an in-network facility who are treated by an out-of-network provider can’t be charged higher copayments (assuming no qualified in-network provider is available at the facility). In an effort to promote social distancing, telehealth services from medical providers must be covered as if they were part of an in-office visit.

Life Insurance

Purchasers of life insurance may have been asked to disclose recent travel to other countries. If a consumer misrepresented this information on an application and contracted a terminal case of COVID-19 while in a high-risk area, the insurer might be able to deny death benefits. Otherwise, life insurance policies generally don’t have exclusions that would pertain to the present crisis. Policies with a cash-value component might decrease in value due to the pandemic’s impact on the economy but are usually subject to a minimum guarantee.

Workers Compensation

Workers compensation insurance pays for medical care and a portion of lost wages when an employee becomes injured or ill as a result of his or her job duties. Although eligibility differs by state, compensation for illnesses generally only applies when job duties or work environments made employees significantly more susceptible to illness than the general population. Historically, for example, ill workers have received benefits after being exposed to hazardous chemicals but not when catching the flu from a co-worker. Whereas most workers are unlikely to qualify for workers compensation due to COVID-19, hospital workers (and perhaps grocery store employees) might qualify due to their elevated exposure. Time will tell.

Commercial General Liability Insurance

This insurance is intended to respond when a member of the public is harmed by a business’s work or by unsafe conditions at an insured location. Although some coverage might exist if a customer were to contract the virus from someone at a business, it’s possible that the insurance would only respond in cases of negligence (such as a business continuing to remain open to the public after being ordered to close). Although some policies might provide benefits regardless of fault, those amounts are generally limited to no more than a few thousand dollars.

Business Interruption Insurance

This insurance compensates businesses for lost income and extra expenses when they’re forced to shut down through no fault of their own (including by emergency order of the government). Unfortunately for policyholders, coverage is typically dependent on “direct physical loss” or damage to property, such as a fire at either the insured’s business or a neighboring building. Interruptions that result in lost income but aren’t caused by a “direct physical loss” or property damage are generally excluded. Although COVID-19-related lawsuits have already been filed against insurers based on this language, carriers might still be able to deny claims based on other parts of the policy. For example, since the early 2000s, most business interruption policies specifically exempt losses due to viruses and bacteria.

As in all cases regarding claims, policy language can differ from product to product and carrier to carrier. Insurance professionals should carefully read the applicable coverage forms before advising the public about a specific loss.


Real Estate institute offers insurance continuing education approved by the Illinois Department of Insurance. Thousands of Illinois insurance producers complete our webinar, classroom and self-study continuing education courses each year. 

CE Survival Guide – Major Changes to Illinois Real Estate Continuing Education

Life belt in the air

July 1, 2019 is an important day for Illinois real estate licensees.

Starting July 1, Brokers, Managing Brokers and Residential Leasing Agents are subject to new continuing education requirements. It’s been over a decade since we’ve seen major changes like this!

In January 2018, the Real Estate License Act was amended with significant updates that “modernize” education and renewal requirements. While some changes took effect right away, much of the implementation was deferred until now, so the IDFPR had time to develop transition plans. These plans included approving schools and courses that satisfy the new requirements.

Here are the facts you need to know to survive your next real estate license renewal.

FACT 1: Core A and Core B Continuing Education Courses Have Been Retired

Until today, most Brokers and Managing Brokers had to complete 12 hours of Core and Elective CE before renewing their license. That included the following:

  • 3-Hour Core A (Required Subjects)
  • 3-Hour Core B (Legal Subjects)
  • 6-Hour Elective or Core B

Now, all Core A and Core B courses are no longer available. (The course approvals have expired, for all schools). The subjects that were formerly categorized as Core B may still be offered as Electives at a school’s discretion.

FACT 2: You Probably Need to Complete a New “Core” CE Course

The former Core A and Core B requirement has been replaced by a single “Core” curriculum requirement. Brokers and Managing Brokers must now complete:

  • NEW 4-Hour Core (Required Subjects)
  • 8-Hours of Electives

Residential Leasing Agents only need to complete a special 6-Hour core course (and no electives).

If you already completed some or all of your CE for the current renewal period, you may be exempt from the new requirement.

If it’s your first license renewal, you’ll need to complete 30 credit hours of Post-License education instead of continuing education.

FACT 3: Online Distance Education Is the New Self-Study

As part of the new requirements, Core continuing education courses may only be completed in an interactive format. This includes classes, webinars and online distance education courses. The good news is that all courses completed in an interactive format do not require a final exam.

The Core credit cannot be earned with self-study courses, whether book-based or online (such as PDFs). This means that only Electives may be completed in the traditional self-study format.

Effective January 1, 2020, every Illinois professional licensed by the IDFPR, including real estate licensees, must complete at least one hour of sexual harassment prevention training before renewing their license. The training must be provided by a division-approved education provider.

This means that all real estate licensees must be sure that their CE (or Post-License education) includes this training in order to renew. This first impacts Brokers and Leasing Agents who renew their licenses in 2020.

There are more changes on the horizon. If you need someone to throw you that life preserver by reviewing your transcript or helping you navigate these new waters, Real Estate Institute is available to guide you to a successful license renewal. Here’s another resource that provides a summary of the major education changes.


Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 25 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our continuing education courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us online or at 800-995-1700.

 

Are Final Exams Required for Upcoming Real Estate License Renewal?

Last year, some important amendments to the Real Estate License Act took effect. While most of the changes were subtle, there was an impact for Illinois Real Estate Managing Brokers. As the license renewal deadline approaches for Managing Brokers, our customer service team has been fielding lots of questions about the changes. Here is the key question and answer…

Do the license law changes impact your 2019 Managing Broker license renewal?

Yes, but not in a significant way.

Although the amended license law made some changes to curriculum and the way courses can be offered, the real impact of those changes won’t be felt until the next license renewal period. That’s because the state needed to finalize administrative rules that describe how those changes will be implemented. The proposed rules (which may be final by the time you read this) defer the impact of the changes to avoid confusion about requirements during this renewal period.

However, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Education (IDFPR) determined that some aspects of the amended license law were very clear and could be implemented in advance of the rulemaking process. This contradiction led to some confusion among licensees.

How does this impact Managing Broker Continuing Education?

The current two-year Managing Broker renewal period began May 1, 2017, and ends April 30, 2019. As a reminder, most Illinois Managing Brokers must complete 24 credit hours of continuing education that includes: 12 hours of core and elective CE (via self-study, online distance education, classes or live webinars) plus 12 hours of interactive Broker Management CE (via classes or live webinars) before renewing their licenses.

You may be pleased to learn that if you attend a live, interactive CE course via classroom or webinar, you are no longer required to complete a final exam for that course. Keep in mind that you must attend the entire course. (Attending review classes for self-study CE courses is not permitted.) This applies to core, elective, and Broker Management CE.

When it comes to core and elective CE, attending live training is not for everyone, especially with the requirement to complete 12 hours of interactive Broker Management CE. You may be looking for another way to avoid taking a final exam. If you’re feeling a little adventurous and willing to try something new, “online distance education” may interest you. This new interactive course delivery method became available in 2018 as a result of the amended license law.

odeprosandcons28229
Online distance education is a modern approach to self-study that has some pros and cons depending on your perspective.

No one relishes the idea of taking a test. It’s important to know that although a final exam is not required with online distance education courses, there must be interactivity, which includes quizzes/knowledge checks along the way to make sure you’ve gone through the entire course.

Note: The state does not permit the 12-credit-hour interactive Broker Management CE course to be completed in an online distance education delivery method.

In summary, the course format you choose will determine whether a final exam is required.

The IDFPR will soon begin accepting license renewal applications, so it’s important that Managing Brokers complete their required CE now.


Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for over 25 years, offering top-rated Continuing Education and Pre-License courses in multiple formats: Classroom, Live Webinar and Online Distance Education. Real Estate Institute’s team of experts is standing by to answer questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.

 

Sign, Sign, Everywhere a Sign

Dart_on_FireThey say that every person needs a passion and/or a hobby. I have two, one of which is regulatory compliance in mortgage lending. Unfortunately, that doesn’t make any of the various approved lists of hobbies for men, which is likely why I’m often found alone next to the bar or canape table at cocktail parties. (However, my other passion, darts, does make several of the lists, so there’s that.)

Thankfully, there is a support group where people like me can get their daily dose of various and sundry compliance scenario questions to mull over and comment upon. It’s an email listserv called RegList, and it has some of the most brilliant compliance minds in the country on it. In fact, if your job description includes anything related to mortgage compliance, I recommend you join us; membership is currently FREE, and we even get together for the occasional cocktail at various industry conferences (canapes optional). Just remember, what happens in compliance stays in compliance.

Recently, there was a question posted to the group that got me thinking about how much MLOs really understand about the requirements and timelines for TRID disclosures. It involved a situation where the borrower received a revised loan estimate four business days prior to closing (the last day that a revised LE can be provided under TRID) but did not SIGN the LE until the next day, which is the same day they received the Closing Disclosure.

The ultimate question was, can a borrower SIGN a revised LE on the same day they RECEIVE the initial CD, and the reason I’m discussing it here is there’s a very real possibility that you’ll encounter this exact scenario on one of your files.

To answer this question, we need to look to Section 1026.19(e)(4)(ii) of Regulation Z, which states, in part, “the creditor shall not provide a revised version of the… [Loan Estimate] … on or after the date on which the creditor provides the… [Closing Disclosure]. The consumer must receive any revised version of the…[Loan Estimate]…not later than four business days prior to consummation.” (All emphasis mine.)

Here’s where I think MLOs and others who are not interacting with the rule on a daily basis may get confused: The words PROVIDE and RECEIVE are NOT synonymous with the word SIGN. In fact, Section 1026.37(n) of Regulation Z and the official commentary to this section of the rule make it clear that a signature is not required on the Loan Estimate! The creditor is free to include a signature line for the consumer to “confirm receipt” of the disclosure or NOT to include it at its sole discretion.

Yes, as a matter of course, virtually all creditors elect to use the version of the form with the signature line because it enables them to more easily track timelines and sell loans to certain investors. However, from a pure compliance perspective, it makes no difference when – or indeed even IF – the borrower actually signs the document. Thus, as long as the creditor can prove that the borrower RECEIVED the revised LE at least four business days prior to closing, providing the CD on the same day the borrower signs the revised LE is compliant so long as the CD meets all other timing requirements. Keep in mind that, if you’re providing these disclosures electronically, you must comply with all requirements in the federal E-SIGN Act regarding consent and delivery.

This is just another example of why our compliance management systems (CMS) are so important. While some investors may initially be unwilling to purchase the loan described above simply because of the signature date on the revised LE, being able to provide proof that the LE and CD were DELIVERED in accordance with Regulation Z requirements may save you from a dreaded buyback or unsaleable loan scenario.

Happy originating,
Peter


Real Estate Institute offers top-rated Mortgage Loan Originator Continuing Education and Pre-License courses in all three formats: Classroom, Live Webinar and Online, Self-Study. These courses were designed BY loan originators FOR loan originators covering topics you need to know to navigate today’s ever-changing lending landscape.

Insurance Ethics Webinars Now Approved and Available

business hand typing on a laptop keyboard with Webinar homepage on the computer screen learning internet website web page concept.After nearly a decade of asking, Illinois insurance producers can finally complete their 3-hour ethics continuing education requirement via webinar. The bill allowing for ethics webinars was signed into law by Gov. Bruce Rauner on August 14, 2018, and the Department of Insurance began approving webinars from course providers (including Real Estate Institute) a few weeks ago.

Although the new law provides a new method of ethics course delivery for insurance producers, the change is not applicable to public adjusters. According to the DOI, licensed Illinois public adjusters must still earn 3 hours of ethics credit by attending a live, in-person class.

The law also creates an education advisory council that will be charged with making recommendations to the state about insurance courses, curriculum and instructor qualifications.

To view Real Estate Institute’s extensive schedule of ethics webinars and in-person classes, click here.

Last-Minute Tips for Brokers to Beat the April 30 Deadline

Motion blur shot of a cheerful business woman crossing the finish line (shutterstock_122081617)The license renewal deadline for Illinois real estate Brokers is only weeks away. For those who have yet to renew their licenses, this can cause panic. But it doesn’t have to.

Follow the steps below to maintain your license. Each step offers tips on the fastest way to stay compliant (so you can keep working).

Complete Your Education

Brokers in Illinois are required to complete education before renewing their license. The type of education depends on what date your license was issued. Find out the original issue date of your license by checking the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) license lookup page at their website.

  • Brokers whose licenses were issued before 2/1/2016 require 12 hours of core and elective continuing education. While live classes are permitted, self-study or online distance education (new for 2018), are the fastest and most flexible options. Self-study courses can be completed anywhere, anytime and require a proctored exam. Online distance education and classes don’t require a final exam, based on recent real estate license law amendments. Finding live classes in your area at this late date may be a challenge. We recommend trying out online distance education. Real Estate Institute offers convenient continuing education options here.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued from 2/1/2016 – 1/31/2018 require post-license education. Half of this 30-credit-hour requirement must be delivered via interactive instruction, such as a live class or webinar. With limited time remaining, webinars are recommended because they offer very flexible attendance options – review your post-license education options.
  • Brokers whose licenses were issued after 1/31/2018 won’t have to renew until 2020, so no education is required at this time. Even so, these Brokers should complete their post-license education well before their deadline to get it out of the way so they don’t have to worry about it later. (Tip: You can get started as soon as 5/1/2018.)

Renew Your License

Most Brokers know that they must pay the renewal fee to the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) but are unsure of the exact process. Read the following for specific details about the renewal process:

  • After completing your required education, you may renew the license. The IDFPR license renewal fee is $150 for the two-year period. (Tip: This close to the deadline, it’s important to find an education provider that will quickly issue your certificate of completion.)
  • The IDFPR strongly encourages Brokers to renew online. You may have received a PIN via e-mail from the IDFPR. (Tip: It’s not needed to renew.) The license number, plus one of the following is needed to renew: Social Security number, date of birth or the IDFPR-issued PIN. A paper-based renewal form is also available with this information.
  • You can begin the renewal process by visiting the IDFPR website and selecting the renewal method offered for your profession.

Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for 25 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.

What You Need to Know About Illinois Broker License Renewal in 2018

Alarm Clock_Apr 30_1 Text Line_No BkgThe Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) recently e-mailed Brokers, announcing that they are officially “In Renewal.” The department is now accepting online license renewal applications.

If you didn’t receive this announcement, you may need to update your contact information with the state to receive future notices. To easily update or add your e-mail address, click here.

Remember, you cannot renew your real estate license until your required education is complete. It’s important that you follow these instructions for a timely renewal.

Step 1 – Complete Continuing Education or Post-License

Illinois real estate Brokers need 12 hours of core/elective continuing education (CE) every renewal period, EXCEPT Brokers who are in their first renewal period. Brokers in their first renewal period are required to complete a 30-hour Broker Post-License program. (If you were licensed on or after February 1, 2016, you must complete Post-License.)

The current Broker renewal period began May 1, 2016, and ends April 30, 2018. If you complete CE or Post-License education with Real Estate Institute, our school reports your course completion directly to the IDFPR.

Step 2 – Submit Your New License Application

After you have completed your CE or Post-License requirement, you must renew your license with the IDFPR. There are two ways to renew your license:

  1. Apply Online – The IDFPR permits online license renewal applications to be submitted up to 90 days before the license expires. This option allows you to complete the entire renewal application and pay online. Click here to apply online.
  2. Mail Your Application – The application can be completed online, printed and mailed with payment. If you use the paper application, we strongly recommend that you send it to the IDFPR via USPS Certified Mail so that you receive confirmation of delivery. Delivery confirmation will be critical in the event of a delay in license renewal. It will likely take the IDFPR several weeks to process your application.

If you have questions about your education requirements for renewal, online resources are available: Continuing Education FAQs and Post-License FAQs. More information can also be found at InstituteOnline.com/NextSteps.


Real Estate Institute has been the local leader in Illinois real estate education for over 25 years. More Brokers choose Real Estate Institute than any other provider for their required license renewal education every season. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.

Are Final Exams Required for Real Estate License Renewal?

Empty_chairsOn January 1, 2018, amendments to the Illinois Real Estate License Act took effect. While most of the changes are subtle, there is already an impact for Illinois Real Estate Brokers. Over the past few weeks, our customer service team has been getting lots of questions about the changes. Here is the key question and answer…

Do the license law changes impact your 2018 Broker license renewal?

Yes, but not in a significant way.

Although the amended license law makes some changes to curriculum and the way courses can be offered, most of the impact of those changes won’t be felt until the next license renewal period. That’s because there’s another step in the process. The state must first establish administrative rules that implement many of the changes.

Even so, the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Education (IDFPR) recently indicated that some aspects of the amended license law are very clear and may be implemented in advance of the rulemaking process. This has led to some confusion among licensees.

Impact on Broker Continuing Education

As a reminder, most Illinois Brokers must complete 12 hours of continuing education before renewing their licenses. The IDFPR understands that with the Brokers’ two-year license renewal period nearly complete, it would be unfair to make changes that significantly change the CE requirements before the April 30, 2018, deadline.

That means you can stick with the tried-and-true way you’ve completed CE for previous renewal seasons. No need to change it up unless you really want to. For most licensees, that takes the form of a simple self-study program.

In addition to self-study programs, licensees sometimes attend classes or webinars to earn CE credit. You may be pleased to learn that if you attend a live, interactive CE course via classroom or webinar, you are no longer required to complete a final exam for that course. Keep in mind that you must attend the entire course. (Attending review classes for self-study CE courses is not permitted.)

Attending 12 hours (at least two days) of live training is not for everyone, and you may be looking for another way to avoid a self-study course with a final exam. If you’re feeling a little adventurous and willing to try something new, Online Distance Education may interest you. This new interactive course delivery method just became available under the amended license law. Online Distance Education is a modern approach to self-study that has some pros and cons, depending on your perspective:


No one relishes the idea of taking a test. It’s important to know that although a final exam is not required with Online Distance Education courses, there must be interactivity, which includes quizzes/knowledge checks along the way to make sure you’ve gone through the entire course.

Impact on Broker Post-License Education

Brokers whose licenses were issued after February 1, 2016, will be renewing their licenses for the very first time. This group of licensees is required to complete a 30-hour Post-License Education program in lieu of continuing education for their first renewal. This program consists of two courses:

  • 15-Hour Broker Post-License Topics
  • 15-Hour Broker Post-License Applied Real Estate Practices (Interactive)

If you’re among those who need to complete post-license education by April 30, you’ll be happy to know that the “Applied” course, which requires interactive delivery, no longer requires a final exam! This means that a final exam will only be required for the “Topics” course and only when completed in a self-study format.

While it may be possible to attend the “Topics” course in a class or webinar format, our student feedback indicates that independent study is strongly preferred. Attending an extra two days of classes/webinars is challenging for anyone, especially new brokers trying to build their businesses. Until now, that left only a self-study course option, which includes a final exam. (Although nobody looks forward to a final exam, the 25-question exam is based on the school’s course and is really no big deal… and there is no state license exam to follow.)

As mentioned above, the new course delivery method, Online Distance Education, lets Brokers avoid a course final exam without any extra class or webinar attendance. This format is a great fit for students who are open to online courses.

For most students, completing the “Topics” course via Online Distance Education and the “Applied” course via webinar will be the winning combination. “Applied” webinars reinforce the concepts learned in the “Topics” course by providing live interaction and feedback from expert educators. This makes it possible for post-license students to complete all their coursework online, choosing their own schedule, without any final exams!

In summary, the course format you choose will determine whether a final exam is required.


Real Estate Institute has been a leader in real estate education for 25 years. Our team of experts is standing by to answer your questions about your requirements, our courses and the renewal process. Please don’t hesitate to contact us at 800-995-1700.


3 Tips for a Successful (and On-Time) MLO License Renewal

Hand writing the text: Time to RenewIt’s difficult to believe that another year has come and gone, and the license renewal period for Mortgage Loan Originators is now in full-swing. While this time of year generally involves visions of turkeys, football and sugarplums dancing in heads, let’s not forget that our careers also need some tending to prior to the end of the year. Here are some tips to make sure that the Grinch doesn’t steal your ability to originate loans in 2018.

  1. DON’T WAIT UNTIL DECEMBER 31!
    While it’s true that the federal SAFE Act sets a December 31 deadline for an on-time renewal application, waiting until the last minute won’t give the licensing agency time to process and approve your application before January 1. Some states will not allow you to originate new business (even with a timely renewal request) until your application has been formally approved, meaning that you will not be able to take applications or review loan terms with new clients until this happens; doing so could land you in hot water with your regulator and face discipline for unlicensed activity. Other States (like Georgia) have earlier deadlines for submitting on-time renewal requests, so please make sure you know the requirements for each state in which you’re licensed. For those of you in Illinois, the IDFPR will only guarantee that your renewal request will be processed before January 1 if you submit it by December 1.

  2. COMPLETE YOUR EDUCATION EARLY

    Most states will not let you submit a license renewal request through NMLS unless you’ve completed your continuing education requirement. Seems simple enough, right? Just do the education on December 30th and renew on the 31st! Unfortunately, to quote a recent nationwide commercial sensation, “That’s not how this works.”

    Course providers have seven days from the day you complete your education to report your hours to NMLS. This means that the latest you can complete education (in most states) and still be guaranteed a timely renewal is December 23. Note that Real Estate Institute will report all course completions until 1:00 PM on Friday, December 29 to allow some extra time, but even WE don’t recommend waiting that long! The good news is, If you need to get your education done, we have options to meet your needs through the end of the year.

  3. REMEMBER TO CHECK YOUR NMLS RECORD AHEAD OF TIME

    When logging in to NMLS, the “individual dashboard” will tell you how many licenses you have that are eligible for renewal, and how many you are prevented from renewing (generally because of issues like outstanding education or a required fingerprint submission). You’ll need to address any “deficiencies” prior to being able to submit for renewal, and you can find out what those are by clicking on the number of licenses that cannot be renewed. (This will take you to the renewal page, where you’ll have to click “attest and pay” to see a list of licenses that are not eligible.)

    Don’t wait until the last minute to check your record; allow yourself time to address any issues that may come up. This is ESPECIALLY true for those of you licensed in many states, as it’s easier than you think to forget a state-specific education requirement.

If you follow these three tips, you should have an easy and pain-free license renewal, not to mention a more enjoyable holiday season. As always all of us at Real Estate Institute appreciate your time and business, and we wish you the best for a successful 2018.

Happy Holidays!

Peter