What is a Wisconsin credit services organization bond?
Before obtaining a license to run a credit services organization in Wisconsin, you must purchase a $25,000 surety bond, according to the Wisconsin Statutes. 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 $25,000.
Get Your Credit Services Organization Bond:
Who needs this bond and why?
The Wisconsin Statutes require all credit services organizations in the state to obtain a license and bond or irrevocable letter of credit in the amount of $25,000. Without these items, you can’t legally perform CSO services to the public.
Wis. Stat. s. 422.501(2)(a) defines a credit services organization as “a person or merchant who, with respect to the extension of credit by others, sells, provides or performs, any of the following services in return for the payment of money or for other valuable consideration:”
- Improving someone’s credit rating, record, or history
- Obtaining or arranging for an extension of credit
- Giving advice or assistance regarding the first two points
How does a credit services organization apply for registration in Wisconsin?
Follow these steps to register with the Department of Financial Institutions.
- Fill out the CSO Registration Application, including applicant, office, general, and personnel information.
- Include a $100 registration fee.
- Obtain a $25,000 bond (or letter of credit).
- Complete the affidavit.
- Return your application materials to the Department of Financial Institutions, Bureau of Consumer Affairs, either in person or by mail.
- Mail to: PO Box 8041, Madison, Wisconsin 53708-8041
- Drop off at: 4822 Madison Yards, Madison, Wisconsin 53705
Frequently Asked Questions
The State of Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions regulates CSO registration and bonding in the state.
Yes, you must renew your bond (and CSO registration) annually. Make sure you renew before these items 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 Wisconsin Statutes specifically lists these acts as unlawful:
- Charging or receiving money or other valuable consideration solely for referring buyers to merchants who can extend credit
- Making/using a false or misleading sales representation
- Providing untrue or misleading information to consumer reporting agencies
How to Get a Credit Services Organization Bond in Wisconsin
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.