Lending regulator plans to resign

Gov. Jim Gibbons’ administration is changing the top regulators over private lenders, banks and other financial institutions with the appointment of a new commissioner and the departure of another.

Scott Bice, 46, commissioner of the Mortgage Lending Division since late 2003, said Thursday that he resigned effective July 31 to accept a bank position.

Bice’s term for the last three years was marred by controversy surrounding the failure of USA Capital, but his predecessor also felt the sting of criticism for failed private lenders.

Mendy Elliott, director of the Nevada Department of Business and Industry, has not named an interim commissioner for the $95,000 a year job, spokeswoman Amanda Penn said. Brent Boynton, a spokesman for Gibbons, declined to comment.

In a separate development, Elliott announced that she selected George Burns, former senior vice president and manager of compliance at Business Bank, to become commissioner of the Financial Institutions, which pays $94,000 a year. City National Bancorporation of Los Angeles acquired Business Bank earlier this year.

Bice was the first to run the mortgage division, which the Legislature created to deal with recurring problems at private lenders. He developed a reputation taking administration action against mortgage brokers accused of violating state rules. His actions included fines, license suspensions and license revocations. Bice counted 236 administrative actions over the last three and one-half years.

Bice helped persuade the Legislature this year to create 17 new positions at the mortgage division. That will bring the staff to 46, up from 12 when Bice started as commissioner.

Bice blamed his small staff for the biggest issue of his tenure.

When USA Capital, the largest private lender, filed for bankruptcy in April 2006, it had been 16 months, four months longer than allowed, since the last mortgage division examination of USA Capital’s financial records. Bice said he didn’t have enough examiners to review the books for every licensed mortgage lender in Nevada every 12 months.

Bice also argued that USA Capital was being looted long before he became commissioner.

Before Bice’s appointment, Scott Walshaw, then commissioner of the Financial Institutions Division, regulated both banks and mortgage brokers. Harley Harmon Mortgage and Interstate Mortgage Group were just the last of several private lenders that collapsed during Walshaw’s tenure.

The legacy of those failures seemed minor when compared with the collapse of USA Capital, which held $962 million in assets for 6,000 investors.

Bice said he did not have a large enough staff to examine private lenders and brokers who originate residential mortgages. The Legislature added 17 positions to the mortgage division staff, bringing the total to 46. Bice believes his successor will have adequate staff to conduct exams on private lenders yearly.

Bice said he was not asked to leave but said he decided to resign in order to establish a mortgage lending division for Town & Country Bank of Las Vegas.

Leo Davenport, owner of GFD Investments and a private lender, frequently criticized Bice but wished Bice well in his new job. Davenport said he hopes the state selects a new commissioner with extensive experience with auditing, which both Bice and Walshaw lacked.

Corrine Dale, president of Capella Mortgage, thanked Bice.

“I know what it was like before you came on board, and I know what it is like now, and it is a world of difference for the better,” Dale said. “You came into a very tough job, and managed to bring the industry together to support long-overdue legislation.”

ad-high_impact_4
Business
Bellagio, MGM Resorts International’s luxury hotel turns 20
The more than 3,000-room Bellagio hotel is situated on the site of the former Dunes Hotel. The Dunes was imploded in 1993, and construction of the Bellagio started in 1996. It cost $1.6 billion to build, making it the most expensive hotel in the world at the time. The Bellagio was former Wynn Resorts Ltd. Chairman and CEO Steve Wynn’s second major casino on the Strip after The Mirage. MGM Resorts International acquired the property from Steve Wynn in 2000. (Tara Mack/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Facial recognition software at G2E – Todd Prince
Shing Tao, CEO of Las Vegas-based Remark Holdings, talks about his facial recognition product. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant
Former NBA player, Shaquille O'Neal, speaks about his new Las Vegas chicken restaurant. Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal @bizutesfaye
Bobby Baldwin to leave MGM
MGM Resorts International executive and professional poker player Bobby Baldwin is set to leave MGM.
Caesars has new armed emergency response teams
Caesars Entertainment Corp. has created armed emergency response teams. They are composed of former military and law enforcement officials. "These teams provide valuable additional security capabilities,” Caesars spokeswoman Jennifer Forkish said. Caesars is hiring Security Saturation Team supervisors, managers and officers, according to LinkedIn. The company did not say how many people it plans to hire for the units. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas, airlines prepare for CES
CES in January is expected to attract more than 180,000 attendees. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
AGS partners with Vegas Golden Knights
AGS is the nation’s second-largest manufacturer of Class II slot machines used primarily in tribal jurisdictions. It announced a marketing partnership with the Vegas Golden Knights NHL team. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Lehman Brothers bet big on Las Vegas
Lehman Brothers collapsed 10 years ago, helping send the country into the Great Recession.
Fremont9 opens downtown
Fremont9 apartment complex has opened in downtown Las Vegas. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @marcusvillagran
Ross & Snow launches in Las Vegas
Luxury shoe brand Ross & Snow has opened in Las Vegas, featuring "functional luxury" with premium shearling footwear. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Remote Identification and Drones
DJI vice president of policy and public affairs discusses using remote identification on drones. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Drones and public safety in Nevada
Two representatives in the drone industry discuss UAV's impact on public safety. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Frontier Airlines to launch flights from Las Vegas to Mexico
Frontier, a Denver-based ultra-low-cost carrier, will become the first airline in more than a decade to offer international service to Canada and Mexico from Las Vegas when flights to Cancun and Los Cabos begin Dec. 15. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International CEO Jim Murren addresses Oct. 1 lawsuits
MGM Resorts International Chairman and CEO Jim Murren addresses criticism his company has received for filing a lawsuit against the survivors of the Oct. 1 shooting. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International opens the doors on MGM Springfield
Massachusetts’ first hotel-casino opens in downtown Springfield. The $960 million MGM Springfield has 252 rooms and 125,000-square-feet of casino. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts International prepares to open MGM Springfield
Las Vegas-based MGM Resorts International gave news media and invited guests a preview of the $960 million MGM Springfield casino in Massachusetts. The commonwealth's first resort casino will open Friday, Aug. 24. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
A Walk Through Circus Circus
It only takes a short walk through Circus Circus to realize it attracts a demographic like no other casino on the Strip: families with young children. (Todd Prince/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Morphy Auctions, a vintage slot machines seller, wants gaming license
Vice president Don Grimmer talks about Morphy Auctions at the company's warehouse located at 4520 Arville Street in Las Vegas on Thursday, Aug. 16, 2018. (Rick Velotta/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada's venture capital money doesn't stay in state
Zach Miles, associate vice president for economic development for UNLV, said there’s venture money in Southern Nevada, “but trying to find the right groups to tap into for that money is different.” According to a 2017 report from the Kauffman Foundation, Las Vegas ranked number 34 out of 40 metropolitan areas for growth entrepreneurship, a metric of how much startups grow. With a lack of growing startups in Las Vegas, investment money is being sent outside of state borders. The southwest region of the U.S. received $386 million in funding in the second quarter, with about $25.2 million in Nevada. The San Francisco area alone received about $5.6 billion. (source: CB Insights)
Neon wraps can light up the night for advertising
Vinyl wrap company 5150 Wraps talks about neon wraps, a new technology that the company believes can boost advertising at night. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Nevada on the forefront of drone safety
Dr. Chris Walach, senior director of Nevada Institute for Autonomous Systems, talks to a reporter at NIAS's new Nevada Drone Center for Excellence of Public Safety, located inside the Switch Innevation Center in Las Vegas. K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @KMCannonPhoto
Motel 8 on south Strip will become site of hotel-casino
Israeli hoteliers Asher Gabay and Benny Zerah bought Motel 8 on the south Strip for $7.4 million, records show. They plan to bulldoze the property and build a hotel-casino. Motel 8 was built in the 1960s and used to be one of several roadside inns on what's now the south Strip. But it looks out of place today, dwarfed by the towering Mandalay Bay right across the street.
Project billed as one of the world's largest marijuana dispensaries plans to open Nov. 1
Planet 13 co-CEO Larry Scheffler talks about what to expect from the new marijuana dispensary, Thursday, July 19, 2018. (Marcus Villagran/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @brokejournalist
Oasis Biotech opens in Las Vegas
Brock Leach, chief operating officer of Oasis Biotech, discusses the new plant factory at its grand opening on July 18. (Bailey Schulz/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like