Both resident and out-of-state operators must provide a Washington collection agency bond before offering debt collection services within the state. The law defines “collection agency” as: (a) Any person engaged in soliciting claims for collection, or collecting or attempting to collect claims owed or due or asserted to be owed or due another person; (b) Any person who offers to sell forms represented to be a collection system or scheme intended or calculated to be used to collect claims, and/or (c) Any person who in attempting to collect or in collecting his or her own claim uses a fictitious name or any name other than his or her own which would indicate to the debtor that a third person is collecting or attempting to collect such claim. The Washington collection agency surety bond must be written in the amount of five thousand dollars ($5,000) and deposited with the Director of the Department of Licensing. The surety bond must be renewed by the 1st of January of each year, written on the Director’s approved bond form, and executed by the applicant as principal and by a surety company authorized to do business in the state. The Washington collection agency bond must run to the state of Washington and conditioned that the agency will faithfully and truly perform all agreements entered into with the agency’s clients or customers and will, within thirty days after the close of each calendar month account for and pay to his, her, or its client the net proceeds of all collections made during the preceding calendar month and due to said customer less any offsets due to the agency under RCW 19.16.210 and19.16.220. While the instrument is manuscripted as a continuous obligation, the surety can cancel the Washington collection agency bond. The cancellation becomes effective thirty days after receipt of written notice of the cancellation. The Director can also unilaterally cancel the surety bond if the agency’s license is revoked. An out-of-state collection agency that applies for a license to do business that is in compliance with his or her home state’s requirements AND maintains an adequate bond or insurance in his or her resident jurisdiction, is exempt from having to provide a Washington collection agency bond. If there is a claim against the agency for which the surety bond serves as a guarantee, the claimant can bring an action in any court of competent jurisdiction. An action of this type be commenced by serving and filing of the complaint within one year from the date of the cancellation of the surety bond. The Washington collection agency bond is not “cumulative”, i.e., regardless of the number of years that the surety bond is in effect or the number of claims against it, the surety will never have to pay a sum in excess of the penal sum of the bond.
Washington surety bond leader, Surety One, Inc., is a bonding expert in the insurance and financial services sector. We offer collection agency bonds to all applicants regardless of principal credit and financial condition. We also offer broad fidelity bond forms to protect collection agencies against losses due to employee dishonesty. Visit us at SuretyOne.com, call (787) 333-0222 or (800) 373-2804, or email Underwriting@SuretyOne.com for a Washington collection agency bond application or bonding support in any state.