When you are looking to get licensed as a mortgage broker or mortgage banker in additional states, there are 4 main categories of fees, each to be paid to different vendors or entities. Some of these fees will vary based on who you hire or your credit history, so we will address that as we go.
Category 1: State Filing Fees
These are the fees you will pay to the state agency that oversees mortgage licensing in the state where you are applying. These fees will typically be paid in the form of a check that you will write directly to the state agency and include with your completed mortgage license application when you file it. There are a few exceptions: You can write in a credit card number on the mortgage license application for OR and MD sends you an invoice for the filing fee after the application has been filed online.
One sub-category within state filing fees is what some states call “Licensing fees.” Basically, this is where the state charges you a fee on the front end when you file your mortgage license application (typically called an “investigation fee”) and then hits you again once they approve your application. Off the top of my head, I know that IL & MA do this, but I think there are a few more in addition.
As a whole, state filing fees can range on the high end of the $2700 range (NV and IL) all the way down to the low hundreds (CA, CO and NM).
Category 2: Bond premiums
Surety bonds for mortgage license applications can vary from state to state (from not being required to the $120,000 bond level) but the standard bond for a broker license application is somewhere around $25,000. Since that is the standard, that is the amount we will use for our example. If you have decent credit and strong financial statements, you can expect to pay somewhere in the range of 1% of the bond amount ($250) as a yearly premium. This amount will be required from you before the bond is issued and will be paid directly to a surety bond company.
Now, if you have shaky credit or if you have a recent bankruptcy, you are more than likely going to have to pay a much higher percentage, possibly up to 10% of the bond amount (or $2500).
These are all estimates based on huge generalizations, so in order to get an accurate assessment for your situation, you would want to contact a surety bond provider.
Category 3: Foreign Qualifications (Certificate of Authority) and Registered Agents
This expense will typically run you somewhere in the range of $500-$550 per state where you want to be qualified. The biggest factor is how much the state charges for the application fee. On top of that, you will want to check to see how much a company is charging your for their service fee to file the application and act as your registered agent (if necessary). Our company, American Mortgage Licensing, charges $200 for the service fee and supplies a Registered Agent for the first 12 months. The state fees average around $150 to $200 per state, some are lower and some are higher (TN and TX are very high).
For the average situation, an calculate of $400 per state is a pretty good price for a completed and filed application covering your state fee and your Registered Agent.
Category 4: Mortgage license service fees
These are the fees you would pay to a company like ours if you chose to hire us to run your mortgage license project. These fees range across the industry and typically range based on the number of states you choose to get licensed in. For example, the fees you would pay to AM Licensing would range from $1000 down to $400 depending on how many states you hired us for.
So, when you take all 4 categories into account, you will typically have to expect an average just over $2000 or so per state. This is just an average as some states are higher (for example, NJ & IL) and some states are lower (NM, CA, etc). As I said before, these fees will be paid to the different vendors at different times during the time of action.
I hope all of you are having success in the industry and please let me know if I can be of any service at all.