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Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Miscellaneous Auto Related Bonds

There are quite a few auto related bonds separate from auto dealership bonds.  These are required bonds by businesses for repairing autos, sales of auto parts, auto dismantlers, auto parts recyclers, designated agents, vehicle inspection businesses, etc.  All of these bonds are regulated by the Department of Motor Vehicles in individual states.

Some of these are akin to what we would call “auto junk yards”, whose businesses provide a valuable service as a secondary market for used auto parts and to do-it-yourself workers who repair autos and can bypass the retail auto parts store and find parts less expensively at a recycler.

Designated Agents, after being certified by their states "licensed and bonded", can handle auto title paperwork for their various states.

Others, such as VIN inspection stations, verify vehicle inspection numbers for possible tampering or theft.

A sample of some actual bonds required are:

  • Dismantler and Parts Recycler bond in Alabama
  • Auto Repairers/Rebuilders bond in Connecticut, Oklahoma and Utah
  • Designated Agent bond in Alabama
  • Motor Vehicle Inspection Station bond in Louisiana
  • Auto Salvage bond in Florida
  • VIN (Vehicle Inspection Number) bond in California and New Mexico.

Check with your individual states’ MVD agency for more state specific information.

If your business has need for any of these miscellaneous bonds, we here at the Ashton Agency can help! We have been selling bonds for over 45 years throughout the country.

Call (800) 451-4854 (East Coast) or (800) 452-2663 (West Coast) for assistance with one of our friendly customer service representatives or visit our website at for your bond at the best rates!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

How To Be a Pawnbroker

Did you know that pawnbrokers are members of an ancient profession operating in the Middle East, China, Greece and Rome – in much the same way that they do today?  There are even several television shows, including hit TV reality show Pawn Stars, about owning and running a pawn shop.

What is a pawnbroker and what do they do?

A pawnbroker is an individual or business that offers secured loans to people, with items of personal property used as collateral.  When someone borrows money from a pawnbroker, he or she has the right to reclaim the personal items used as collateral within a set period of time by replaying the loan and interest.  If the loan is not repaid within that set period of time, the pawnbroker can sell the item to the general public.

Pawnbrokers need to keep careful records and be cautious not to take in stolen goods.  A pawnbroker must use good judgment and have a general knowledge of all the various items that are brought into their shop for pawning.

How to get a Pawnbrokers License:
  1. Submit a pawn application form to the non-depository division of the Department of Financial Institutions in your state.  States vary, but most will ask for a personal affidavit, employment history, credit check, criminal background check and fingerprints from your local police department, and financial statements with your assets and net worth.
  2. Apply for a sales tax permit and federal tax ID, as well as a Federal Firearms License if you want to sell guns.
  3. Many states require a surety bond in order to secure your license.  The bond protects customers who have pledged assets for a loan in case the pledged assets are sold, or honoring the sell back price and interest cost agreed upon, etc. Various states require different bond amounts, usually running from $1,000 to $25,000.  
Pawnbrokers provide a valuable service to consumers that encounter sudden financial emergencies for loans that are not offered by banks and other traditional lending institutions.Ashton Agency has been providing license surety bonds to Pawnbrokers for over 45 years.  We can supply your pawnbroker bond in most any state you are located.

Visit our website at or call (800) 451-4854 to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives. We can provide you with a free quote within one business day, so call now!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Contractors Are the Backbone of our Country

Artisan contractors – the backbone of our economy.  When contractors come to mind, we sometimes forget how many, how diverse, and how many types of contractors provide services to homeowners and businesses across the country.  Electrical contractors, mechanical contractors, carpenters, roofers, masons… many more.  According to the U.S. Department of Labor, there are over 3.7 million artisan contractors in America.

General contractors – generally responsible for the entire construction project.  A general contractor probably will hire Artisan Contractors to build certain areas in the total project.

Many government entities regulate the contracting industry by mandating that various contractors obtain a license, and many times a surety bond.  The regulating body could be the state, city or county, or other governmental entities.

Most contractor license bonds protect the public against contractor negligence, defective construction, and sometimes unpaid wages by the contractor.  Each government entity’s laws are different, which is why it is important to check each state’s rules and regulation codes.

Various contractor organizations across America are available as resources for artisans, including:
  • Artisan Contractors Association of America
  • Your local Home Builders Association
  • Your local building trade association
  • Your contractors association in the state in which you are working, 
  • Specialty contractor associations such as the National Tile Contractors Association or the National Electrical Contractor’s Association, among many more.
When your work requires a bond, click or call (800) 452-2663 for the contractor bond you need.  Our customer service agents will start the ball rolling to immediately provide you with your bond, so you can get to building America!

Ashton Agency has been servicing contractors for over 45 years, providing license bonds throughout the nation.  Our offices in Winter Park, Florida and Portland, Oregon can provide your contractor bond, usually at the lowest prices and within one business day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

How To Be a Mortgage Broker

Thousands of homes are sold every day. Even with a troubled economy, buyers still need mortgages for their newly purchased houses.

A mortgage broker acts as an intermediary who assists in searching and negotiating the financing of mortgage loans on behalf of individuals or businesses. Mortgage brokers do not close and fund a mortgage with its own funds (often confused with mortgage bankers), they negotiate and facilitate transactions between clients and bankers.

Have you always been interested in the real estate business and mortgage industry? Are you looking for a new career path? Being a mortgage broker can have great income potential and time flexibility.

Assess Your Strengths and Qualities
  • Trustworthy
  • Detail-oriented 
  • Salesmanship
  • Strong oral and written communication
  • Assessing the market
First, it's important to find out if this is the right career path for you. Learn your strengths and weaknesses that may be applicable to being a mortgage broker. A big part of being a mortgage broker is having a natural skill of talking with people, making right decisions, and finding the best solutions. Strong salesmanship can determine whether a mortgage broker is successful or not. You also must establish trust between your clients. They will be entrusting you with all their confidential information and finances.

Find Out Licensing Requirements For Your Service Area

Like with most professions, you need to be properly licensed in order to become a mortgage broker. There are certain licensing requirements for different states and provinces, even if you work for a firm or for yourself. Below are a few places you can find this information in regards to licenses.

Education and License Testing

Along with getting licensed, you also need to go through an education course to learn the fundamentals, laws and regulations of mortgage brokering. You will need to pass the licensing examination which will test you on your knowledge of the mortgage banking and loan industry, as well as government regulations and state laws.

Get Credentials

Separate yourself from the pack. Having professional certifications will assist you getting a job with a broker group, establish stronger credentials with clients, pad your resume/portfolio, and best of all, may increase your income. Here are some credentials we recommend.

Start Your Business

If you decide to be an independent mortgage broker, there are a few options:
  • Lease an office space and hire employees
  • Work from your home office
  • Work under another broker
  • and/or a combination of all the above!
Have you thought about becoming a mortgage broker? Some states, such as Arizona and California, require you to obtain a surety bond. This bond is called a Mortgage Broker Bond.

Call us at (800) 452-2663 to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives to assist you on your bond today and get started with your new career! 


Thursday, March 6, 2014

Georgia House Passes Medical Marijuana Bill

Georgia patients may soon be allowed to legally use marijuana for medical treatments. It will be used to treat patients with cancer, glaucoma, and seizure disorders. According to CNN, medical marijuana will be given in an oil or pill form for ailments.

The Georgia House of Representatives on Monday voted a 171-4 majority to approve the bill on "Crossover Day". Georgia could become the first southern state to pass a medical marijuana law if Georgia’s senate approves and Governor Nathan Deal (R) signs the bill into law.

Overall support within the state seems to be split, with a slight edge to favoring the bill. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of voters supported legalizing the use of marijuana for medical purposes; and 62% of Georgia voters support ending criminal penalties for marijuana.

Do you need a medical/retail marijuana bond in Denver, Colorado? We offer $5000 bonds, which is required in the state of Colorado. Let us help you write your bond with the best prices and quickest turnaround time!

Call 503-253-7330 for assistance with one of our friendly customer service representatives or visit our website at for your bond at the best rates!


Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Weather Causes Fall of Auto Sales for Third Consecutive Month

According to ABC News, General Motors and Ford reported declines in U.S. auto sales as harsh weather conditions reigned over the auto industry. Auto sales have steadily increased over the past four years until this year's rough winter weather--and, earlier in the year, predicted to rise.

Since December 2013, sales have remained stagnant while vehicle inventories continue to increase. Industry analysts do predict a slight rise of about 1 percent for the month, but still slow compared to 8 percent from last year.

GM and Ford predict sales to continue to trend low in February. Volatile winter weather remained in many parts of the nation which kept several people in major metropolitan areas out of dealerships for long periods of time.

It's reasonable to blame the weather conditions for the lack of sales, but executives are looking for solutions to pick up sales. Stock market fluctuations can also play a role in the drop. However, automakers are confident sales will pick up in the next months. All automakers were due to report February sales yesterday, Monday, March 3.

Are you an auto dealer looking to renew your dealers bond? Ashton Agency has helped thousands of auto dealers nationwide to get their auto dealer bond and garage liability insurance at the best rates! Call us today at (800) 451-4854 (East of the Mississippi) or (800) 452-2663 (West) to speak with one of our helpful customer service representatives (hablamos espaƱol).