At the end of 2007, Washington State had 13,722 loan originators licensed under a mortgage broker. At the end of 2008, that number fell to 8739. As of May 5, 2009, we’re at 5335. This number also includes inactive licensees. Based on the number of LO students who tell me that they already have a full time job elsewhere and are just keeping their license active “just in case” they want to originate a deal for a friend or family member, I’d say the number of active licensees is below 5335.
In 2008, many mortgage brokers were forced to re-license as consumer loan companies due to changes in state law. Subsequently, many of those LOs let their license go in 2008. LOs who work for a consumer loan company will start their licensing process in August and we will be able to better track the number of consumer loan company LOs licensed in WA State. As more lenders begin using the National Mortgage Licensing System to verify if the person who originated the loan is licensed in that state, perhaps some of the unlicensed, out of state shadow LOs will start being counted.