National licensing standards for sales employees at nonbank mortgage companies could be even more expensive than the industry thought.

The Department of Housing and Urban Development said Tuesday that it is "inclined" to subject loan servicing workers who talk to borrowers about modifications to the same minimum requirements as retail loan officers. HUD is responsible for setting those requirements under the Secure and Fair Enforcement Mortgage Licensing Act, which was enacted last year and is intended to prevent fraud and unscrupulous sales tactics by originators.

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