Colorado introduces blanket surety bond requirement for marijuana financial services cooperatives

iStock_000004332151SmallOn June 6th, 2014, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper signed HB 1398 into law.  As the growth, sale and possession of marijuana became legal in Colorado while remaining illegal under federal law, there was a lack of financial institutions and banks that were willing to provide financial services to marijuana businesses. This new legislation establishes marijuana financial services cooperatives in the state and, therefore, addresses this problem.

The official legislative declaration reads:

“(b) DECLARES THAT THIS LACK OF ACCESS TO FINANCIAL SERVICES HARMS THE PUBLIC INTEREST BY:

  • (I) STIMULATING THE MARIJUANA BLACK MARKET’S COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE BY INCREASING LICENSED MARIJUANA BUSINESSES’ COSTS OF DOING BUSINESS;
  • (II) INCREASING THE CRIME RATE ASSOCIATED WITH LICENSED MARIJUANA BUSINESSES DUE TO THE LARGE AMOUNTS OF CASH THAT MUST BE KEPT ON PREMISES; AND
  • (III) IMPEDING COLORADO’S ABILITY TO TRACK AND INDEPENDENTLY VERIFY THE ACCOUNTING OF LICENSED MARIJUANA BUSINESSES’ REVENUES; AND

(c) DECLARES THAT THE ENACTMENT OF THIS ARTICLE, BY AUTHORIZING THE FORMATION OF MARIJUANA FINANCIAL SERVICES COOPERATIVES, IS NECESSARY FOR THE PROMOTION AND PRESERVATION OF THE PUBLIC WELFARE.”

To keep the marijuana financial services industry free of unethical and unlawful business professionals, the state of Colorado has introduced a surety bond requirement that all marijuana financial service businesses must fulfill to comply with the laws of the state and industry and legally do business. The surety bond must be in an amount equal to the assets of the cooperative as of December 31st of the previous year or $1 million, whichever amount is lesser in value. As a marijuana financial services cooperative becomes established in the state and begins to appoint its board of directors and appointed officials, a blanket surety bond to cover all board members must be obtained.

For more information about the legal requirements of marijuana financial services cooperatives in Colorado, you can find the full text of HB 1398 here.

The experts at SuretyBonds.com are familiar with this new bond requirement and are ready to assist you with all of your bonding needs. When you’re ready to get bonded, give us a call at 1 (800) 308-4358 Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST and between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST on Friday. Or, you can fill out our instant online contact form. You’ll be connected with an expert surety specialist who will walk you through each step of the bonding process.

West Virginia introduces surety bond requirement for notary publics

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Effective July 1, 2014, West Virginia updated its Uniform Law On Notarial Acts. This update to the legislation does the following:

  • reduces a notary’s commission from ten (10) years to five (5) years
  • requires a $1,000 surety bond or its equivalent in professional insurance
  • raises the amount a notary can charge from $2 to $5 per notarial act
  • allows for the notarization of electronic documents (e-notarization)

The surety bond requirement is a new step in the application process for West Virginia notaries, as no bond requirement was in place prior to the July 1 update. By posting a notary surety bond, notaries pledge to act ethically and lawfully while on the job and adhere to all terms set in the Code of West Virginia. These bonds remain in effect for 5 years from the date of issuance.

The process to become a notary public in West Virginia starts with the completion of the Application for Appointment as a Notary Public form, which can be found here.

The experts at SuretyBonds.com are familiar with this new bond requirement and have the bond form on file, which will help to expedite the bonding process. We can issue these bonds instantly without the need of a credit check, which means that all applicants will pay the same low rate for their West Virginia notary bond and can get bonded in just 5 minutes. Fill out an online bond request or call 1 (800) 308-4358 to get bonded now!

 

Connecticut enacts new surety bond requirements for mortgage servicers

iStock_000006605783SmallOn June 3, Governor Dannel Malloy of Connecticut signed HB 5353 into law. This bill sets new licensing requirements, specifically that any person acting as a mortgage servicer must obtain a license from the banking commissioner for his or her main office and each branch office from which he or she conducts business. This requirement goes into effect on January 1, 2015.

This licensing change renames mortgage servicing companies as “mortgage services” and does the following and more:

  • modifies who is subject to licensure
  • expands the list of services subject to licensure
  • adds new licensing, application, fees, bonding and recordkeeping requirements
  • specifies standards of conduct for mortgage professionals

The bill requires Connecticut mortgage servicers to post a $100,000 surety bond per place of business. The new law also states that additional bonds may be required based upon the financial standing of a mortgage servicer or mortgage lender licensee. The surety bond ensures the honest performance of all mortgage agreements, the trustworthy accounting of all funds associated with the mortgage business, and the conducting of business in compliance with all applicable laws. This bonding requirement goes into effect on October 1, 2014.

Mortgage servicers in Connecticut are also required to post fidelity bond and errors and omissions coverage. The fidelity bond is based on the mortgage servicer’s volume of servicing activity with the minimum amount required being $300,000. This coverage may provide for a deductible amount not to exceed the greater of $100,000 or 5% of the principal amount

The experts at SuretyBonds.com are ready to assist you with all of your bonding needs. When you’re ready to get bonded, give us a call at 1 (800) 308-4358 Monday through Thursday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. CST and between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. CST on Friday. Or, you can fill out our instant online contact form. You’ll be connected with an expert surety specialist who will walk you through each step of the bonding process.

SuretyBonds.com announces winners of the Small Business Success Student Scholarship Program

Success-Student-Scholarship-Winners2014This morning, SuretyBonds.com announced the three winners of the second annual Small Business Success Student Scholarship Program. Congratulations to Lillian Ross of Las Vegas, NV, Omar Ziadeh of Silver Springs, NV, and Brandon Garnaat of Alto, MI!

These three deserving students each submitted an essay about how small business has impacted the people they are today. They were chosen as three of the top ten finalists by the SuretyBonds.com scholarship committee, and the public voted via the custom SuretyBonds.com Facebook voting app to name Lillian, Omar and Brandon the winners!

Each winner will receive a $1,500 scholarship to use toward their higher education endeavors.

The entire SuretyBonds.com team would like to thank every person who applied for the 2014 Small Business Success Student Scholarship Program. Narrowing down ~500 applications to ten finalists was difficult. Congratulations to our top-ten finalists, and thank you for working hard to share the voting app and garner votes. We encourage you to apply for the 2015 scholarship season, which will begin this coming November.

Congratulations, Omar, Lillian and Brandon!

Upcoming surety bond expiration dates

Deadline day written on a calendar.At SuretyBonds.com, it’s our goal to make the bonding process as fast, easy and accurate for you as possible. One way we do this is by alerting you of upcoming bond expiration dates so that you can renew your bond without falling out of compliance with the licensing laws of your state and industry. The following bonds are expiring soon.

Expiring within 30 days

  • May 31: Maryland fuel dealer bond
  • June 1: Florida talent agent bond

Expiring within 60 days

  • June 30: Michigan mortgage broker bond
  • June 30: Michigan fundraising bond
  • June 30: Missouri intoxicating liquor tax bond
  • June 30: Mississippi mortgage broker bond
  • June 30: New Jersey fundraising bond
  • June 30: Ohio auctioneer bond
  • June 30: South Carolina contractor class bond
  • June 30: West Virginia motor vehicle dealer bond
  • July 1: Colorado medical marijuana bond
  • July 1: Kansas combat sports promoter bond
  • July 1: Missouri combat sports promoter bond
  • July 1: North Carolina collection agency bond
  • July 1: Wisconsin motor club bond

Expiring within 90 days

  • July 31: Louisiana recreational vehicle dealer bond
  • July 31: New York secondhand dealer bond

Renewing your surety bond with the experts at SuretyBonds.com is easy. Typically, renewals can be completed over the phone in just a few minutes. Unless your credit score/financial credentials or the required bond amount has changed in the past year, you can expect to renew your bond for a similar rate as you paid last year.

Are you ready to renew your surety bond? Give us a call at 1 (800) 308-4358, and one of our account managers will help you with your bonding needs over the phone. It’s that easy!