Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bond: A Comprehensive Guide
This guide provides information for insurance agents to mortgage bankers obtain Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bonds
At a Glance:
- Lowest Cost: $750 per year or $75 per month based on the banker’s credit
- Bond Amount: Based on the mortgage loan activity of the mortgage banker in the previous calendar year:
|Prior Year Activity||Bond Amount|
|$10 million or less||$100,000|
|Over $10 million to $25 million||$150,000|
|Over $25 million||$200,000|
- Who Needs It: All individuals and business entities seeking to obtain a mortgage banker license in the State of Arkansas
- Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for any damages should the mortgage banker fail to comply with licensing law
- Who Regulates Mortgage Bankers in Arkansas: The Arkansas Securities Department
Arkansas Statute 23-39-503 requires mortgage bankers operating in the state to obtain a license with the Securities Department. The Arkansas legislature enacted the licensing laws and regulations to ensure that mortgage bankers engage in ethical business practices. In order to provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing law, bankers must purchase and maintain a mortgage banker surety bond (limits outlined in Table 1.1) to be eligible for licensure.
What is the Purpose of the Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bond?
Arkansas requires bankers to purchase the Mortgage Banker Bond as part of the application process to obtain a mortgage banker license. The bond ensures that the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the banker fails to comply with the licensing regulations. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that protects the public if the banker breaks licensing laws.
How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain an Arkansas Mortgage Banker Surety Bond?
BondExchange makes obtaining an Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bond easy. Simply login to your account and use our keyword search to find the “mortgage” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Gain access now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone (800) 438-1162, email or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.
At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.
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Is a Credit Check Required for the Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bond?
Surety companies will run a credit check on the mortgage banker to determine eligibility and pricing for the Arkansas Mortgage Banker bond. Bankers with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Bankers with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the banker’s credit.
How Much Does the Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bond Cost?
The Arkansas Mortgage Banker surety bond can cost anywhere between .75% to 5% of the bond amount per year. Monthly subscription options are also available. Insurance companies determine the rate based on a number of factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below offers a quick reference for the approximate bond cost on the $100,000 bond requirement.
$100,000 Mortgage Banker Bond Cost
|Credit Score||Bond Cost (1 year)||Bond Cost (1 month)|
|650 – 699||$1,000||$100|
|625 – 649||$1,250||$125|
|600 – 624||$1,880||$188|
|550 – 599||$4,000||$400|
|500 – 549||$5,000||$500|
*The credit score ranges do not include other factors that may result in a change to the annual premium offered to your customers, including but not limited to, years of experience and underlying credit factors contained within the business owner’s credit report.
How Does Arkansas Define “Mortgage Banker”?
Arkansas Statute 23-39-502 defines a mortgage banker as any “person who engages in the business of making mortgage loans for compensation or other gain.”
BondExchange now offers monthly pay-as-you-go subscriptions for surety bonds. Your customers are able to purchase their bonds on a monthly basis and cancel them anytime. Learn more here.
How Do Mortgage Bankers Apply for a License in Arkansas?
Bankers in Arkansas must navigate several steps to secure their mortgage banker license. Below are the general guidelines, but bankers should refer to the licensing statutes for details on the process.
License Period – The Arkansas Mortgage Banker License expires on December 31 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date
Step 1 – Meet the Net Worth Requirements
Applicants for the Arkansas Mortgage Banker License must first amass a company net worth (assets – liabilities) of at least $25,000. Bankers must submit financial statements verifying their net worth when submitting their license application.
Step 2 – Purchase a Surety Bond
Mortgage bankers must purchase and maintain a mortgage banker surety bond (limits outlined in Table 1.1)
Step 3 – Designate a Qualifying Individual
Bankers must employ at least one “managing principal” who handles the day to day operations of the banker’s business. Managing principals must have a minimum of three years of relevant work experience.
Step 4 – Request an NMLS Account
The Arkansas Mortgage Banker License application is submitted electronically through the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS). To submit a license application, applicants must first request to obtain an NMLS account.
Step 5 – Complete the Application
All Arkansas Mortgage Banker License applications can be completed online through the NMLS. Bankers must complete entire the application, including the following steps:
5.a Financial Statement – Bankers must submit an audited financial statement, prepared by a CPA, of their most recent fiscal year, which indicates a company net worth (assets – liabilities) of at least $25,000
5.b Background Check – All managing principals are required to authorize an FBI background check to be completed
5.c Business Plan – Applicants must submit a business plan containing the following information:
- Marketing strategies
- Target markets
- Fee schedule
- Operating structure the applicant intends to employ
5.d Certificate of Good Standing – Bankers must submit a Certificate of Good Standing which can be obtained from the Arkansas Secretary of State
5.e Fees – All license applicants must pay the following fees when submitting their license application:
- $750 application fee
- $100 NMLS initial processing fee
*Individuals who are applying for a combination of the mortgage banker, broker or servicer license will need to submit a separate license application
How Do Mortgage Bankers Renew Their Licenses in Arkansas?
Bankers can renew their licenses online through the NMLS. License holders need to simply login to their account to access their renewal application. Bankers must pay a $350 renewal fee, plus an additional $100 for every branch office. The Arkansas Mortgage Banker License expires on December 31 of each year and must be renewed before the expiration date.
What Are the Insurance Requirements for the Arkansas Mortgage Banker License?
The State of Arkansas does not require mortgage bankers to obtain any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining a Mortgage Banker License. Bankers must purchase and maintain a mortgage banker surety bond.
How Do Arkansas Mortgage Bankers File Their Bond?
Bankers should submit the completed bond form, including the power of attorney, electronically through the NMLS. Additionally, bankers will need to mail the completed bond form to the following address:
Arkansas Securities Department
1 Commerce Way, Suite 402
Little Rock, AR 72202
The mortgage banker surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and the banker. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:
- Legal name and address of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
- Surety company’s name and address
- License type (Broker, Banker, or Servicer)
- Bond amount
- Date the bond is signed
What Can Businesses Do to Avoid Claims Against the Arkansas Mortgage Banker Bond?
To avoid claims on the Mortgage Banker Bond, bankers must follow all license regulations in the state, including some of the most important issues below that tend to cause claims:
- Do not engage, or allow representatives of the business to engage, in any acts of fraud
- Pay all taxes and fees on time and in full
What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer Mortgage Bankers in Arkansas?
Arkansas does not require mortgage bankers to obtain any form of liability insurance. However, most reputable businesses will seek to obtain this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue liability insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.
How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for Arkansas Mortgage Banker Customers?
The NMLS conveniently provides a public database to search for active mortgage bankers in Arkansas. The database can be accessed here. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.
What other Financial Service Bonds are Required in Arkansas?
Arkansas requires businesses to purchase specific bonds correlating with their license type. Below are all the different financial services bonds required by the State of Arkansas:
- Money Transmission: Custom bond limit
- Collection Agency: Bond limit ranges from $100,000 to $200,000
- Mortgage Servicer: Bond limit ranges from $100,000 to $200,000
- Mortgage Broker: Bond limit ranges from $100,000 to $200,000