Most states have laws, statutes and other regulations in place requiring financial services licensees to furnish surety bonds as a condition of licensure. State regulators and/or consumers can file claims against a surety bond to cover fines or penalties assessed or provide restitution to consumers due to a licensee’s failure to comply with licensing or regulatory requirements. Common surety bonds required for mortgage-related licenses include:
- Mortgage Broker License Surety Bond
- Mortgage Servicer License Surety Bond
- Mortgage Lender License Surety Bond
- Mortgage Correspondent Lender License Surety Bonds
- Money Servicer License Surety Bonds
- Money Transmission License Surety Bonds
- Collection Agency License Surety Bonds
- Debt Adjuster License Surety Bonds
The NMLS And Mortgage Broker Bonds
Watch our video explaining the MLO surety bond requirement.
The Nationwide Multistate Licensing System & Registry (also known as the "NMLS," or the "System") is the system of record for non-depository, financial services licensing or registration in participating state agencies, including the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories of Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam. While the NMLS itself does not grant or deny license authority, it is the official system for companies and individuals to apply for licenses, amend license terms, renew licenses and surrender licenses in these jurisdictions.
Sixty-four state or territorial governmental agencies, and fifty-nine state agencies use NMLS for mortgage licensing, while fifty-five also use the system to manage licensing for other non-bank entities (e.g., money services businesses, consumer finance and debt).
The NMLS serves as the comprehensive system of record for licensing information. Electronic Surety Bond Tracking in NMLS allows for the tracking of surety bond requirements and the maintenance of surety bond information validated by authorized surety companies and surety bond producers. The NMLS Resource Center (https://nationwidelicensingsystem.org/Pages/default.aspx) is the official gateway into the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System and provides users with tools and updates.
NMLS Instructions for Mortgage Broker Bonds
The NMLS files most surety bonds electronically. This means that there isn't a "paper bond" like with many surety bonds. In fact, there often isn't even a PDF that can be shared to reflect the bond. The NMLS itself and the online portals are the verification that there is an active bond. Let's take a look at the steps the get your surety bond e-filed with the NMLS.
Step 1: Grant Authority to your surety bond issuer in NMLS
- Log in to NMLS and navigate to the Tasks tab.
- Click on Surety Bonds to access the new surety bond functionality.
- Click on Surety Entity Access to search for your surety bond producer and surety company.
Best Practice: Licensees are recommended to search for their surety bond producer by the NPN and surety company by their NAIC, as applicable, to reduce search results.
Step 2: Surety Bond Producer initiates bond issuance process
- Once authority is granted, the surety is able to create a new bond or bond conversion on your behalf in NMLS.
Step 3: Bond Execution
- Depending on the license type, bond execution may require a control person to be designated as the signatory or may permit a company account user (AA or OU with the Surety Bond Management role) to sign the bond.
- For existing licensees, electronic bond conversions will be sent directly to your regulator once the bond had been Marked Ready by the company.
- For new applicants in the process of completing their Company Form (MU1), once the electronic bond has been marked Ready it will not be sent to your regulator until the submission of the Company Form (MU1) occurs.
NMLS Frequently Asked Questions
The process of initiating a new bond, include providing details such as bond amount, license type and jurisdiction, to a surety bond producer or surety company is completed outside of NMLS, correct? Is this also true of bond riders?
Yes, the initial process of providing bond specific information from the licensee to the surety entity, and the process regarding changes to existing electronic bonds, must be completed outside of NMLS. Once the terms are confirmed (and the licensee has granted authority) the surety entity can create the bond/bond rider in NMLS for electronic submission.
Will licensees need to make any changes to bond documentation that were uploaded in NMLS previously?
No changes should be made to any previously uploaded documentation related to surety bonds in NMLS.
Are there any fees in NMLS related to submitting bonds electronically?
No, there are no fees associated to submitting bonds electronically in NMLS at this time.
How will our current bonds be put into the system?
The paper bonds that currently exist will be replaced by “converted bonds.” What this means is that the surety entity will be responsible for creating an electronic instances in NMLS of the current bond and will mark the bond as converted. This will inform the regulator that an electronic bond will be replacing the existing paper bond. You will sign it electronically and mark it ready for the regulator at the time of submission. No action should be taken regarding the paper versions that have been uploaded via the Company Form (MU1).
The Most Searched Mortgage Broker Bonds By State:
Surety Bonds Direct will help you get your surety bond filed promptly with the NMLS. Get a free, no-obligation quote today for your surety bond or call us at 800-608-9950 to speak with a surety bond expert.