What is a pawnbroker bond?
A number of states require that pawnshop owners go through a licensing process which involves posting a surety bond, also called a pawnbroker bond. The main purpose of these bonds is to protect property that has been posted by someone as collateral in exchange for a short-term loan.
Should something happen to the property, or if the broker is proven to have used fraud, the bond can serve to compensate the claimant. Depending on the state, pawnbroker bonds have additional provisions as well, requiring pawnbrokers to comply with certain regulations. You need to know the terms of the bond agreement thoroughly, in order to stay out of claims. Actions commonly prohibited include: selling the item before the agreed date, charging a higher interest rate, or not honoring the sell back price of the items.
You can now start your application and you will get a free bond quote. If you want to learn more about pawnbroker bonds, explore the Q&A section below. If you have any questions call us at (877) 514-5146 and let us know how we can help!
Questions about Pawnbroker Bond
How much does a pawnbroker bond cost?
Each surety bond has a total bond amount required, which refers to the coverage it offers to claimants. Let’s take Florida pawnbroker bonds as an example. The state requires a $10,000 surety bond, which means that in case of a claim a pawnbroker might be liable for sums up to that amount. A claimant can get a maximum of $10,000– though if there are more claimants, the sum is split among them.
However, to get bonded, pawn shop-owners do not need to pay the full amount upfront. Instead, they make yearly premium payments that only constitute a few percent of the total amount. Applicants with a good credit score can pay as little as 1% of the total bond amount. Take a look at the table below for a breakdown of bonding costs by state, and expected premiums based on credit score brackets.
|State and Bond Name||Surety Bond Amount||Above 700||Between 650-699||Between 600-649||Below 599|
|Florida Pawnbroking Bond; Mississippi Pawnshop Bond, Connecticut Secondhand Dealer Bond||$10,000||$100||$100-$250||$100-$250||$500-$1,000|
|South Carolina Pawnbroker Special Deposit Bond; Washington D.C. Pawnbroker Bond; Oklahoma Pawnshop License Bond||$5,000||$100||$100-$125||$125-$250||$250-$500|
Surety bond companies often evaluate other factors besides your credit score, such as items in your credit report, your financial statements, or your resume. Our What Does a Surety Bond Cost? page provides more detail on the factors that determine your premiums.
Can I get a pawnbroker bond with bad credit?
Pawnbrokers bonds aren’t considered high-risk, so you shouldn’t have any problems getting bonded with bad credit. However, bad credit applicants are subject to higher premiums, so it’s important to choose your bonding agency carefully.
Lance Surety Bonds has rich experience in working with applicants with credit issues, so we can help you get the lowest possible premium. In our experience, you will rarely be required to pay more than 5%-10% of the total bond amount.
Keep in mind that some red flags which might prevent you from getting bonded are an open bankruptcy or an unpaid child support payment.
How do I apply for a pawnbroker bond?
We’ve created a simple and straightforward application process. After you submit our online application, we’ll contact you and give you a free bond quote. Our surety agents will guide you through the rest of the application process, so that you can get your bond as fast as possible.
Under normal circumstances, we’ll mail your original bond form in as little as one or two business days, and email you a digital copy.
What happens if there’s a claim against me?
It’s essential that you know what you are responsible for in order to avoid a claim against your bond. Not only can bond claims be costly, but they can lead to the revocation of your business license, because bonding companies may refuse to underwrite bonds for applicants with previous claims.
Usually, the best course of action is to reach a settlement with the claimant, without going to court. If your dispute with the client is well-documented and you haven’t done anything that breaches the bond agreement, you may go to court and fight the claim. Sureties can often help with legal assistance.