Mortgage broker bill now on Gov. Ritter’s desk
The Denver Post
A bill putting oversight of mortgage brokers in the hands of a board instead of embattled real-estate chief Erin Toll headed Wednesday to the governor, despite earlier objections from the House speaker and Toll’s boss.
House Speaker Terrance Carroll, sponsor of House Bill 1141, had originally and repeatedly vowed to strip off the amendments that would shift power over mortgage brokers.
Likewise, a spokesman for Department of Regulatory Agencies chief Barbara Kelley has continued to voice displeasure with the changes, which were added in the Senate after Toll publicly claimed a state senator who had challenged her was under investigation.
He wasn’t, and Toll was suspended with pay after the announcement.
Carroll said Wednesday that he allowed the amendments to remain on HB 1141 – which in its original form simply required mortgage brokerages to federally register – after he got assurances from Kelley that the department could work with the board model.
“(Kelley) assured me it was something they could accommodate. It had nothing to do with Erin Toll,” said Carroll, D-Denver. “Once people had a chance to step back, it became clear to me it was not going to be the end of the world.”
Kelley’s office still feels giving a director sole authority allows for quicker discipline of errant mortgage brokers, the department spokesman said.
The Denver Post recently discovered it was not until the day after Toll announced that Highlands Ranch Republican Sen. Ted Harvey, who works as a mortgage broker, was under investigation that her office launched the inquiry into his employer.
Before opening the inquiry, Toll wrote in an e-mail to a colleague that her “ego is a bit bruised” after a committee battle with the senator but that it was “nothing a little yoga and responsive action to an attack won’t mend.”
Sen. Shawn Mitchell, R-Broomfield, witnessed the Toll-Harvey faceoff in committee and later supported the amendments. He said they will help prevent retaliatory actions by directors in the future.
“Erin Toll’s out-of-control behavior illustrates why we need better judgment than one self-promoting official,” Mitchell said.
Carroll and bill co-sponsor Sen. Lois Tochtrop, D-Thornton, said the decision to move forward with the recrafted HB 1141 had nothing to do with the personalities involved.
Jessica Fender: 303-954-1244 or firstname.lastname@example.org