WASHINGTON — The House passed a bill by a voice vote Monday that will make it easier for mortgage originators to take a new job across state lines or move from a federally regulated bank to a nonbank lending shop.

The bill (HR 2121) creates a 120-day transition period so loan officers can accept a new job and start work immediately. Currently loan officers have to meet educational and testing requirements of the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act before starting a new job.

The Mortgage Bankers Association welcomed the House's action.

"This is an important piece of bipartisan legislation which will help all lenders recruit experienced mortgage loan officers without unnecessary barriers to employment mobility and job opportunity," said David Stevens, the group's president and chief executive. "MBA now urges the Senate to consider this bill expeditiously."

The Senate Banking Committee passed similar SAFE Act amendments last summer as part of a larger regulatory reform bill (S 1484). But it is unclear if the full chamber will act on the bill.

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