What is a West Virginia credit services organization bond?
Before obtaining a license to run a credit services organization in West Virginia, you must purchase a $15,000 surety bond, according to the West Virginia Code. This bond ensures credit services organizations (CSOs) follow the law and abide by industry standards. If a CSO acts illegally or unethically, the injured party may file a claim against the bond – up to $15,000.
Get Your Credit Services Organization Bond:
Who needs this bond and why?
The West Virginia Secretary of State requires all credit services organizations in the state to obtain a license and bond (or surety account). Without a license and bond, you can’t legally perform CSO services to the public. Learn more.
WV Code §46A-6C-2 defines a credit services organization as “a person who, with respect to the extension of credit by others and in return for the payment of money or other valuable consideration, provides, or represents that the person can or will provide, any of the following services:”
- Improving a buyer’s credit record, rating, or history
- Obtaining an extension of credit for a buyer
- Giving advice or assistance regarding the first two points
How does a credit services organization apply for registration in West Virginia?
Follow these steps to register with the Secretary of State:
- File a registration statement (with the following items included): Name and address; disclosure of any litigation or unresolved complaint with a governmental authority of West Virginia relating to the CSO’s operation OR a notarized statement saying there has been none
- Keep a copy of your registration statement on record.
- Pay a filing fee.
- Obtain a $15,000 bond or surety account and maintain it until two years after your business ceases operations.
- Follow the Filing Instructions on page 5.
Frequently Asked Questions
The West Virginia Secretary of State regulates CSO registration and bonding.
Yes, you must renew your bond (and CSO registration) annually. Ensure you renew your bond and registration before they expire each year so they remain active.
The easiest way to avoid claims is to follow the laws of your state for your industry. The West Virginia Code specifically lists these acts as unlawful:
- Charging a buyer or receiving money from a buyer before completing all services you’ve agreed to perform
- Making/using a false or misleading representation while offering or selling services (i.e., guaranteeing to erase bad credit or extend credit)
- Engaging in an unfair/deceptive act, course of business, or practice related to offering or selling services
- Advertising your services without filing a registration statement of the SoS
How to Get a Credit Services Organization Bond in West Virginia
ZipBonds offers the fastest and most secure option for getting the surety bonds you need. Our all-digital platform is intuitive and straightforward. Apply online or call us at (888) 435-4191 to speak with an agent. Most of our bonds are approved and processed immediately from our site.
Founders Ryan Swalve and Zach Mefferd formed the vision for ZipBonds.com when they realized how overly complicated it was to help clients place surety. The frustration of being unable to incorporate the technology they’d used in other insurance-focused projects left them thinking “there has to be a better way.”
Fast forward a couple of years, and that better way is the impetus of everything we do at ZipBonds. We constantly look for innovative ways to improve the bonding process for our clients and agents. Our team comprises individuals who understand all angles of surety – for companies, agencies, and individuals. Incorporating everyone’s point of view to improve the process while simultaneously integrating cutting-edge technology is what sets our business apart.