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Frequently Asked Questions from Licensees

Advance Fee Loan Brokers || Banks || Collection Agencies || Commercial Mortgage
Bankers and Brokers
|| Consumer Lenders || Credit Unions || Debt Management Companies ||
Escrow Agents || Loan Originators || Money Transmitters || Mortgage Brokers and Bankers
|| Sales Finance Companies || Premium Finance Companies
||
Savings and Loan Associations ||Trust Companies ||General Licensing Questions

 

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions from Licensees

The Arizona Department of Financial Institutions (AZDFI) licenses and supervises financial institutions and enterprises in accordance with Arizona Revised Statutes Title 6, Title 32, Chapter 9, Articles 1,2 and 3, Title 44, Chapter2.1, Article 1, and the Arizona Administrative Code Title 20 chapter 4.

Some of the frequently asked questions that AZDFI have received from licensees that are common to most license types are addressed under General Licensing Questions.  The remainder of the questions are organized by license type in alphabetical order.  For your convenience, a link by license type has been added above.

You may also contact AZDFI with questions relating to licensing by calling 602-771-2800 for Financial Enterprises and 602-771-2816 for Financial Institutions.

Advance Fee Loan Brokers

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
 


A:

 

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 60 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.


2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
                 


A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on ”Advance Fee Loan Broker” and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.

Banks (State Chartered)

1.
Q: How do I obtain a permit to open a bank?


A:

 

 

 

 

Establishing a new state-chartered member bank will require obtaining preliminary approval from AZDFI and the Federal Reserve Board of San Francisco (“FRB-SF”) as well as issuance of deposit insurance from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (“FDIC”).  The best place to start is to call the Financial Institution Division of AZDFI and see if a meeting with the Superintendent should be set.  More information on obtaining  new bank organization approval and the applicable forms and fees can be found at www.azdfi.gov by clicking on Financial Institutions; Banks and the Forms and Fees page.

2.

 

Q:


The Arizona Corporation Commission has indicated that I must have approval from AZDFI to register my business.  How do I obtain approval to use the word “Bank” in my business name?


A:

 

Arizona Statutes prohibit use of the terms “bank” “credit union” or “trust” in a business name unless the business holds a bank, credit union or trust permit issued by AZDFI or another state or national regulator.  Exceptions may be granted when the business does not hold itself out to be a bank, credit union, trust company or savings and loan association.
Send a letter to AZDFI, attention Tamilee Smull requesting permission for use of the name; include the name of the business and the type of business you plan on conducting in Arizona.  See the following Arizona Revised Statutes for reference: §6-391,§ 10-401(3), and §10-1506(A)(3). 

Collection Agencies 

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
   


A:

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 45 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.   See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?


A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on  ”Collection Agencies”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.
                  
 

Commercial Mortgage Bankers and Brokers

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?

A:


AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 120 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: Why do I receive e-mails from the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System & Registry (“NMLS”)?
      
A:
Once your application has been reviewed, you will get notices from NMLS to go to your account/records which you must review for any deficiencies and comply with the requirements made by AZDFI.

3.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?

A:

 

 

 

Please refer to the applicable Amendment Checklist for guidelines on making changes.  (The Amendment Checklists are for those who already hold a license, they are not to be used while still in the application process.)  All changes should be reflected on NMLS.  The Amendment Checklist must be printed, completed and submitted to AZDFI along with applicable documents and fees.  The Amendment Checklist is found on the NMLS website under Arizona Requirements page.  Here are additional links for your convenience: Quick Guides page, Review Status page and Amending Forms page

Consumer Lenders

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?


A:

 

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 120 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
      


A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on ”Consumer Lenders”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.

Credit Unions (State Chartered)

1.
Q: How do I obtain a certificate to organize a credit union?
            


A:

 

 

Submit a copy of the NCUA forms that the applicant files with the National Credit Union Administration; plus any additional information that AZDFI may require under State law.  Please refer to Arizona Revised Statutes §§6-501 through 6-595 and the Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-401 for Arizona Law.  You can contact Tamilee Smull at 602-771-2816 for specific questions on Arizona statutes and rules.

2.

Q:

The Arizona Corporation Commission has indicated that I must have approval from AZDFI to register my business.  How do I obtain approval to use the word “Credit Union” in my business name?

                 

A:

 

 

Arizona Statutes prohibit use of the terms “bank” “credit union” or “trust” in a business name unless the business holds a bank, credit union or trust permit issued by  AZDFI or another state or federal regulator.  Exceptions may be granted when the business does not hold itself out to be a bank, credit union, trust company or savings and loan association.
Send a letter to AZDFI, attention Tamilee Smull requesting permission for use of the name; include the name of the business and the type of business you plan on conducting in Arizona.  See the following Arizona Revised Statutes for reference:  §6-509 (B), §10-401(3), and §10-1506(A)(3)

Debt Management Companies

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
               

A:

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 60 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
             

A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on ”Debt Management Companies”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.

Escrow Agents

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
     

A:


AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 120 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail. See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
           

A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on ”Escrow Agents”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.

Loan Originators

1.
Q: What are Arizona’s requirements to obtain the Loan Originator License?
             

A:

Our state specific requirements are available through NMLS. 

2.
Q: How do I make amendments to my MU4 record? 
                   

A:

Here is a link to help you make amendments: click HERE <

3.
Q: If I have a felony, can I obtain a Loan Originator license?
                 


A:

 

 


Both the Federal S.A.F.E. Act and our own statutes are very clear, there can be no felony conviction within the last 7 years of the date of the application for licensing or at any time preceding such date of application, if such felony involved an act of fraud, dishonesty, or a breach of trust, or money laundering.  There are no exceptions.


4.
Q: What is Arizona’s standard for credit?
 


A:

 

 

 

 

 

Per Arizona Statutes, your credit report must indicate you have been financially responsible.  AZDFI does not use minimum credit scores.   If your credit report shows derogatory credit, including bankruptcy, foreclosure, judgments, or tax liens, you will need to provide an explanation and address how you have been financially responsible.   Provide any documents you feel are needed to support your explanation.  A recent bankruptcy does not necessarily indicate you have not been financially responsible.  Your total credit history will be reviewed.  Once these items have been reviewed, you may be asked to provide further information or documentation to support that you have been financially responsible. 

Money Transmitters

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
                  

A:

 

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 120 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
            

A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on ”Money Transmitters”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.

Mortgage Brokers and Bankers

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
              
        


A:

 



AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 120 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.
Q: Why do I receive e-mails from NMLS?
             

A:

 

Once your application has been reviewed, you will get notices from NMLS to go to your account/records which you must review for any deficiencies and comply with the requirements made by AZDFI.

3.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
                  

A:

 

 

 

 

Please refer to the applicable Amendment Checklist for guidelines on making changes.  (The Amendment Checklists are for those who already hold a license, they are not to be used while still in the application process.)  All changes should be reflected on NMLS.  The Amendment Checklist must be printed, completed and submitted to AZDFI along with applicable documents and fees.  The Amendment Checklist is found on the NMLS website under Arizona Requirements page.  Here are additional links for your convenience: Quick Guides page, Review Status page and Amending Forms page.

Sales Finance Companies

1.
Q: What is the status of my application?
             

A:

 

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 45 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.  See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.


2.
Q: How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?
                   

A:

 



Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on "Sales Finance Companies”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.


3.
Q: Does a Sales Finance Company need to set up an actual location in Arizona?
                 


A:

 

 

NO

 


4.
Q: Who needs a Sales Finance License?
             

A:


Anyone in the business of buying loan contracts against a motor vehicle, from a retail seller, or anyone who creates or holds loans against a motor vehicle with an outstanding balance that exceeds $50,000.00.

5.
Q: What is "Cash Sale"?
                   

A:


I
n a cash sale there is no financing taking place, meaning it is cash only with a clear title.  There is no lien against the title.

6.
Q: What is a “Title Loan?”
                 


A:

 

A Title loan is a personal loan against the title of a motor vehicle. There are caps for the loan amount.  Please see A.R.S. §44-291 for cap information.


7.
Q: What is a “Non-Cash Sale?”
             

A:

 

A non-cash sale is when a dealer sells a motor vehicle with one or more deferred payments or when a dealer assists in finding financing for the buyer

8.
Q: What interest rates can Sales Finance Companies charge?
                   

A:

Rates are limited on title loans only.  Please see A.R.S. §44-291 for cap information.

9.
Q: Where can I find the Statutes that pertain to Sales Finance Companies?
                 


A:

 

 

You can find the statutes under A.R.S. Title 44, Chapter 2.1.



10.
Q: Where can I find the licensing timeframes associated with Sales Finance Companies?
             

A:

Licensing Timeframes associated with Sales Finance Companies can be found under the Arizona Administrative Code, Article 1. Section R20-4-107.

Premium Finance Companies

1.

 

Q:


What is the status of my application?

 

                

A:


AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 120 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.   See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames.

2.

 

Q:

 

How do I make changes to my license or amend information on my License?

 

               

A:

 

 

Go to the AZDFI home page, click on “Financial Enterprises”, click on ”Premium Finance Companies”  and under “Forms and Fees” find the change you want to make.  The license change instructions and application will be on the right hand side of that page.  Follow the instructions, print, complete and return all appropriate forms, documents and fees to AZDFI.

Savings and Loan Associations

At this time, there are no associations in Arizona that have applied for and have been issued a permit to transact business as a state-chartered Savings and Loan Association.   Please call 602-771-2816 if you have any questions.

Trust Companies

1.

 

 

Q:

 

 

The Arizona Corporation Commission has indicated that I must have approval from the AZDFI to register my business.  How do I obtain approval to use the word “Trust” in my business name?

 

          

A:

 

 

Arizona Statutes prohibit use of the terms “bank” “credit union” or “trust” in a business name unless the business holds a bank, credit union or trust permit issued by the AZDFI, another state or federal regulator.  Exceptions may be granted when the business does not hold itself out to be a bank, credit union, trust company or savings and loan association.
Send a letter to AZDFI, attention Tamilee Smull requesting permission for use of the name; include the name of the business and the type of business you plan on conducting in Arizona.  See the following Arizona Revised Statutes for reference:  §6-867. §10-401(3), and §10-1506(A)(3)

2.

 

Q:

 

What is the status of my application?

 

           

A:

 

AZDFI shall make a final decision on a COMPLETED application within 150 days.    Once AZDFI has reviewed your application, you will be contacted via e-mail.   See Arizona Administrative Code R20-4-107 licensing time frames. 

General Licensing Questions

1.

 

 

Q:

 

 

The Arizona Corporation Commission has indicated that I must have approval from AZDFI to register my business.  How do I obtain approval to use the word “Bank”, “Credit Union” or “Trust” in my business name?

 

                

A:

 

 

Arizona Statutes prohibit use of the terms “bank” “credit union” or “trust” in a business name unless the business holds a bank, credit union or trust permit issued by AZDFI, another state or federal regulator.  Exceptions may be granted when the business does not hold itself out to be a bank, credit union, trust company or savings and loan association.
Send a letter to AZDFI, attention Tamilee Smull requesting permission for use of the name; include the name of the business and the type of business you plan on conducting in Arizona.  See the following Arizona Revised Statutes for reference: §6-391, §6-509 (B), §6-867. §10-401(3), and §10-1506(A)(3).  

2.

 

 

Q:


 

Can I buy a bond that is more than the statutorily required amount for my license type?  If so, do I need permission?

 

         
A: Yes, you can buy a bond for any amount you want as long it is over the statutorily required amount.  You do not need permission from AZDFI in this situation.

3.

 

Q:

 

Who is required to be licensed by AZDFI?

 

            

A:

All of the financial institutions and enterprises you see listed at the top of this page,  who are transacting business in Arizona and are not exempt by statute must be licensed by AZDFI.

4.

 

Q:

 

How do I apply for a license?

 

               

A:

 

For the mortgage industry, mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, commercial mortgage brokers, commercial mortgage bankers, registered exempt persons and loan originators, you will need to submit your application for a license via the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (“NMLS”), telephone number (240) 386-4444.
For all other license types, please go to our home page at www.azdfi.gov , click on Financial Institution or Enterprise and the license type you are applying for.  The “Forms and Fee” section will provide you with the information you need to apply for a license.  You may also call 602-771-2800, if you have additional questions.

5.

 

Q:

 

Who do I make my check payable to?

 

              
A: Checks should be made payable to the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions or AZDFI.

6.

 

Q:

 

Does AzDFI accept Visa or M/C as payment for licensing fees?

 

             
A:
Yes, AzDFI does accept Visa and/or M/C for payment of some licensing fees.  Please click HERE for a list of those license fees that can be paid using Visa and/or M/C.  

7.

 

Q:

 

When is my renewal due?

 

         

A:

 

Specific renewal information can be found by clicking on the home page of www.azdfi.gov  under financial institution or enterprise, click on the license type you hold and “license renewal”.

8.

 

Q:

 

Why does your website list a licensee as “Renewing”?

 

                  

A:

 

 

Our website will show a licensee as renewing if AZDFI has not completed the review of the renewal application.   If the licensee is listed on our website as renewing, they are still an Active Licensee and able to transact business in the state of Arizona.

9.

 

Q:

 

What is the status of my renewal?

 

                  

A:

 

 

Once AZDFI has reviewed each renewal, if there are items needed to complete the renewal application, the licensee will be contacted via e-mail (mortgage industry will be contacted via NMLS).  Once your renewal has been processed and approved, our website will be updated so that your license will no longer reflect “Renewing”. 

10.

 

 

Q:

 

What happened to the Motor Vehicle Dealers that AZDFI used to license?

 

 

 

 

A: The law requiring AZDFI to regulate Motor Vehicle Dealers expired on August 6, 2016. You may refer to HB1358 and HB2535. AZDFI ceased accepting new license applications and renewals for Motor Vehicle Dealers. If you have any questions regarding your Motor Vehicle Dealer license, please contact ADOT Motor Vehicle Division Dealer Services and Licensing at (602) 712-7571.