What are Washington finance & mortgage broker bonds?
Finance and mortgage broker bonds are legally binding agreements between three parties:
- Finance professionals such as mortgage brokers and finance lenders
- A government agency like the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
- A surety company
If the finance professional fails to comply with the regulations, the surety company will pay out financial losses to damaged parties up to the full bond amount. The finance professional is liable to reimburse the surety for any damages paid under the bond.
How much do Washington finance & mortgage broker bonds cost?
The Department of Financial Institutions requires mortgage loan brokers to post a surety bond as part of the licensing process. The required bond amount depends on the broker’s annual mortgage loan volume during the prior year:
- Less than $20 million in mortgage loans: $20,000 bond
- Between $20 million and $40 million in mortgage loans: $40,000 bond
- More than $40 million in mortgage loans: $60,000 bond
The required bond costs for other finance bonds in Washington are as follows:
- Washington Online Currency Exchanger Bond: $10,000 and upwards
- Washington Money Transmitter Bond: $10,000 and upwards
- Washington Consumer Loan Company Bond: $30,000
The surety company issuing the bond determines your premium rate, which is the percentage of the total bond amount you pay as the premium. Premium rates for Washington finance bonds typically cost between 1% and 5% of the total bond amount. EZSurety has issued mortgage lender surety bonds in Washington for premiums as low as $225.
During the application process, the surety company evaluates your personal credit, financial statements, industry experience, and licensing history. Applicants with good credit generally receive the lowest rates, however, bad credit will not prevent you from securing a Washington finance bond. EZSurety still offers competitive rates to individuals with low credit scores or other financial issues.
How to get your mortgage broker license in Washington?
To become a licensed mortgage loan broker in Washington, you must meet the following licensing requirements:
- Register business with the Washington Secretary of State
- Complete the criminal background check
- Provide credit reports for all controlling persons
- Complete the Certificate of Compliance and have it notarized
- Submit your application through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (NMLS)
- Pay $1,001 in licensing fees and a $36.25 background check fee
For information on obtaining other finance licenses in Washington, you can visit the NMLS Resource Center.