Robert S. Niemi

Senior Advisor

Columbus
T +1 614.462.2665  |  F +1 614.462.2616

Recognized by the lending industry as an invaluable resource, Bob Niemi helps clients translate global business strategies into executable plans at all levels of organization. His unique perspective combined with his extensive lending career and experience as a regulatory leader have enabled Bob to develop comprehensive working knowledge of all facets of the lending industry. Bob has been a mortgage leader and industry advocate for more than 25 years, and served as a mortgage regulator for more than three years with the State of Ohio. His leadership was called upon to serve as Ombudsman for the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS), and help industry users and regulatory agencies work toward modern and efficient regulation. Bob possesses training-level knowledge of the mortgage process and an understanding of the changing mortgage regulations as both regulator and lender. His familiarity with the industry makes him a strong advisor, counselor, and trainer, with the ability to understand implications from shifting regulations, codes, and rules, and the knowledge to assist clients in establishing business practices, policies, training, and compliance programs to manage them.

Bob has been a frequent speaker for the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators and Conference of State Bank Supervisors; a trainer and speaker for regulatory training events, including examination schools and seminars; and a frequent speaker and panelist for industry events, presenting on the coordinated regulatory activities of state and federal governments. He has been both a state-licensed mortgage originator and an approved NMLS pre-licensing education mortgage trainer.

Select Experience

  • As NMLS Ombudsman, encountered issues both specific to individual users attempting to get licensed and global issues regarding how all states work together in regulating the mortgage bankers, brokers, servicers, non-profit lenders, third party service providers, and more. 
  • Engaged with the National Mortgage Bankers Association to help define issues, openly discuss areas of disagreement, and find common working ground to advance beyond the issues in areas in which both could continue to grow. 
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Experience

  • As NMLS Ombudsman, encountered issues both specific to individual users attempting to get licensed and global issues regarding how all states work together in regulating the mortgage bankers, brokers, servicers, non-profit lenders, third party service providers, and more. 
  • Engaged with the National Mortgage Bankers Association to help define issues, openly discuss areas of disagreement, and find common working ground to advance beyond the issues in areas in which both could continue to grow. 
  • As the Ohio deputy superintendent, guided the overhaul of administrative mortgage rules for Ohio by adding licensing exemptions to allow business expansion and bringing pre-SAFE Act language up to today’s nomenclature and business models, and engaged industry stakeholders and trade associations throughout the two-and-a-half-year process. 
  • Earned CSBS/AARMR Accreditation for Ohio – only the 16th state to earn and demonstrate to CFPB the capability of mortgage supervision met federal standards. Also underwent an OBM audit, decreased mortgage approval times, and increased customer satisfaction and consumer response.
  • Assists in mortgage origination sales and sales management as a state-licensed originator.

Recognitions

  • Columbus Business First Magazine: 20 People to Know in Banking and Finance (2014)
  • President's Club Award 
    • Lender
    • Sales Manager

Memberships

  • Mortgage Bankers Association: Certified Mortgage Banker
  • National Mortgage Bankers Association: State Legislative and Regulatory Committee
  • Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association
    • Executive Director (2010 to 2012)
    • Vice President (2010)
    • Treasurer (2008 to 2009)
    • Board of Trustees (2007 to 2010)
    • Legislative Committee (2007 to 2010)
    • Local MBA President’s Representative (2006 to 2007)
  • Columbus Mortgage Bankers Association
    • Board President (2006)
    • Legislative Chairman (2005 to 2010)
    • Board Member (2000 to 2007)
  • Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS)
    • Ombudsman (2014 to 2015)
    • NMLS Policy Committee (2014 to 2015)
    • Mortgage Testing and Education Board (2013)
    • Licensed Mortgage Educator (2010 to 2012)
  • American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators
    • Treasurer (2014 to 2015)
    • Board Member (2013)
    • Training Committee (2014 to 2015)
  • National Association of Consumer Credit Administrators
    • Legislative Committee (2013 to 2015)
    • Member Representative (2012 to 2015)
  • Governor Strickland's Foreclosure Prevention Task Force: Ohio MBA Representative (2007)

Community

  • Habitat for Humanity of Ohio: Board Member
  • Central Ohio Football Officials Association
    • President (2016)
    • Vice President (2015)
    • Mentor Official (2010 to 2015)
    • Trustee (2013 to 2014)
  • Ohio Association of Football Officials
    • Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (2014 to 2016)
    • Ohio Athletic Conference (2008 to 2013)
  • Columbus Housing Partnership: Board of Trustees (2006 to 2007)
  • Save Our Homes Task Force (2005 to 2007)
    • Richard Cordray co-founder 
  • Lake County Neighborhood Housing (1993 to 1994)

Industries

Prior Positions

  • State of Ohio, Department of Commerce, Division of Financial Institutions: Deputy Superintendent for Consumer Finance (2012 to 2015)
  • Nationwide Multistate Licensing System: Ombudsman (2014 to 2015)
  • Niemi Professional Services, LLC: Executive Director (2010 to 2015)
  • Ohio Mortgage Bankers Association: Executive Director (2010 to 2012)
  • Hondros College: NMLS Approved Mortgage Trainer (2010 to 2012)

Admissions

  • [Not an Attorney]

Education

  • B.Bus., Western Illinois University, 1985

Blog

In The Blogs

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Financial Services Blog
D.C. Circuit Agrees to Hear Controversial PHH Case En Banc
By Ruth E. Hartman
February 24, 2017
On Feb. 16, 2017, the D.C. Circuit granted the CFPB’s petition to rehear en banc the court’s landmark October 2016 decision finding that the structure of the CFPB was unconstitutional. We covered the panel decision here. In its Feb. 16...
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Financial Services Blog
CFPB Fines Lender and Real Estate Brokers for Improper Kickback Scheme
February 2, 2017
On Jan. 31, 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) filed consent orders against one of the largest independent residential mortgage lenders, two real estate brokers and a mortgage servicer for their roles in an improper...
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Financial Services Blog
OCC Announces Creation of New Office to Foster the Development of Fintech in Banks
November 2, 2016
Fintech is at the forefront of the financial industry. A recent announcement by the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) shows that this trend will only continue to grow and cements fintech as an important piece to the financial...
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Financial Services Blog
CFPB Warns Mortgage Lenders and Brokers of Possible HMDA Violations
By Damon C. Barhorst, Robert S. Niemi
October 31, 2016
On Oct. 27, 2016, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) warned 44 unnamed mortgage lenders and brokers that they may be in violation of data reporting requirements of the Home Mortgage Disclosure Act (HMDA). Enacted in 1975, HMDA...
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Financial Services Blog
Florida to Streamline Testing Requirements for Mortgage Loan Originator Licensure
By Robert S. Niemi, Douglas A. Vonderhaar
August 22, 2016
On August 16, Florida announced via the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) Resource Center that it was adopting the Uniform State Test (UST) for mortgage loan originators. With this announcement, the Florida Office of Financial...
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