Archive for November, 2012

Commercial Surety Bond Legislature Update for 2012 in Arizona

Written by JoAnn Smith on November 29th, 2012. Posted in Arizona, Surety Bond Blog, Tax and Fees Bonds

Arizona State Seal
There was one Senate bill and one House bill regarding commercial surety bonds that was enacted in the legislature for Arizona during the recent 2012 legislative session.  There were no legislative acts passed regarding contract bonds during the last session in either the House or the Senate for the state of Arizona. Enacted bills became effective on the 90 days after adjournment, which was August 3, 2012, or as provided in the act. Specified effective dates are provided in the bill summary. See the summaries below for an idea of the basics covered by these new legislative acts or follow the links to read the actual bill for more details.

Senate Bill No. 1280: License Bond—Tobacco Product Distributors

The Arizona Senate Bill 1280 will reflect changes to require all tobacco product distribution must post a bond for surety of license sales tax. The new bond law requires that the bond must be equal to 4X the average monthly liability for taxes of the distributor based on the preceding consecutive six months history of paid taxes or $500, based on whichever is the greater amount. In the event that a tobacco distributor does not have a six month history of tax payments, then the bond to be paid has to be at least $500. The bill was enacted on May 09, 2012. For full details and to see the actual language of the bill please follow our link here.  

House Bill No. 2462: Court Bond

In the house bill #2462 recently passed, a requirement will now be made that any dog owners whose dog has been seized for suspected cruel mistreatment or neglect including abandonment will need to  post a court bond. That bond will be $25 per animal seized. This is a change from when the bond bill was first introduced, where the requirement would have been $200 per animal. The bond will be paid to ensure that the costs regarding care of the animal are covered. This bill was enacted on March 21, 2012. To see the complete bill in PDF form and read all circumstances that pertain to this bill be sure to click on our link here.  

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Not Having Your Contractors License and Bond Can Complicate Bids

Written by Surety Bond Expert on November 27th, 2012. Posted in Commercial Bonds, Mississippi

Contractors License Bond
Contractors License Bonds
While it’s possible that not every bid job with your city requires a contractors license and a surety bond to make a bid, it is always a good idea to be sure you have everything in place should your company win the bid for a civic project. This was illustrated recently when a company won a contracting bid to repair the roof of a local jail, but was then unable to produce a contractor’s license or contractors bond for the job. This Jackson Mississippi civic project bid is being held up while the contractor is being asked to produce evidence of both items.

Surety Bonds for Virginia Public Adjusters

Written by JoAnn Smith on November 26th, 2012. Posted in Surety Bond Blog, Virginia

public adjuster, surety bond
US Public Adjusters
If you conduct business in the State of Virginia as a public adjuster, you now need to be licensed beginning January 1, 2013. Virginia General Assembly recently passed two house bills, HB 872 and HB 520, that will require anyone acting as a public adjuster to be licensed. This new law will affect residents or non-resident individuals or business entities.
      Part of the requirements of the license is that
a public adjuster surety bond for $50,000 is to be posted
      in favor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. This bond is applicable for all resident adjusters. In addition, pre-licensing exams will be held as part of the licensing process, and will be available beginning November 1 2012.
A letter regarding the new house bills was sent by the Commissioner of Insurance and that letter in its entirety can be viewed here. Additional requirements for public adjusters will need to be met including:
    • Complying with standards of conduct.
    • Fulfilling certain specific educational requirements on an on-going basis.
    • Fees that are charged must be deemed fair and reasonable in relation to work done.
    • Completion of criminal background check.
    • Payment of $250 fee.
    • Surety bond of $50,000 is posted.
For those with questions regarding these new rules for public adjusters in Virginia, you can read the document directly by following our link to House Bill 872 in the legislative information system site for Virginia. For more information and a list of Frequently Asked Questions regarding this change in Virginia public adjuster requirements, please be sure to read the Public Adjuster FAQ Sheet online.

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Contractor Performance Bonds Vital for Towns

Written by JoAnn Smith on November 21st, 2012. Posted in Bond Applications, Contract Bonds, Indiana, New York, Performance Bonds, Surety Bond Blog, Tennessee

cost of a surety bond, performance bond
The Cost of a Surety Bond Ensures Construction
One side effect of the real estate bust has been that many towns find themselves left with unfinished residential and commercial building projects. There have been several stories in the last month or so that illustrate why the cost of a surety bond is more than worth it for any developer, particularly when it comes to residential construction. As you will see here, many towns and cities are reviewing current policies regarding the cost of a surety bond to ensure that all future infrastructure needs are met. A good example is a recent story about a coalition of New York residents regarding the filing of a performance bond for a townhouse development. In this lawsuit the disagreement revolves around whether the bond was ever issued and if the bond issued is even connected to the housing development in question. The full details of this dispute are a good illustration of the need for clarity when it comes to performance bond issues. In Spring Hill Tennessee, the bond status of all current projects is being reviewed after discovering that several bankrupt residential development projects did not have bonds posted, even though this is a requirement of the city. This may be leaving the taxpayers to cover infrastructure costs where a surety bond for performance was never posted. The city says it will be looking into why certain developers were not required to post performance bonds and will ensure that all will be doing so in the future. For a closer look at the investigation into the inconsistent requirements for performance bonds, follow our link to the entire performance bond article. A similar problem has cropped up in a small town in Indiana. The town was left to pay for completing some roadways when the performance bond connected with a local development didn’t quite cover outstanding costs on roadwork after the company went bankrupt. Now Merrillville is looking at all the outstanding bonds to be sure that they are acted on in a timely manner and that they are sufficient to cover costs for infrastructure if the developer cannot complete the project. These are just a few examples of why it is so important for a developer of any size to be sure that the performance bonds they use for the project actually meet the needs of the infrastructure they are intended to cover. The cost of a surety bond should always be directly tied to these costs to ensure proper coverage.

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Dangerous Dog Laws and Posting Surety Bonds

Written by JoAnn Smith on November 16th, 2012. Posted in Alabama, Georgia, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Surety Bond Blog, Washington

Dangerous Dog Surety Bonds Becoming More Common
There has been quite a bit of talk in the last few years about whether it is best to require owners of specific breeds that are deemed dangerous to post a dangerous dog surety bond for their animal versus requiring owners of dogs that have been deemed dangerous by their specific actions to post a surety bond. Owners of such animals as an American Pit Bull Terrier (a.k.a. pit bull) or Rottweiler say that their dogs, if trained properly are no more dangerous than other dogs. Nonetheless, quite a few states have enacted both breed-specific legislation (BSL) and dangerous dog laws, and many of these laws do require a bond be posted by the owner. If you have a dog that has either been deemed dangerous by the courts because of a specific action or live in a state where specific breeds are required to have bonds posted against damages, then you should make sure you know the law for your dog.

States with BSLs

Because most BSL is done at the municipal or county level, some states have passed laws that do not allow a municipality to pass breed specific laws. BSL basically either bans specific breeds or requires that they are neutered. They can also require a bond be posted to ensure the owner will cover the costs for any damage done by their dogs. These states that have BSL include: Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia

States with Dangerous Dog Laws that Require Surety Bonds

There are several states that do require any dog deemed dangerous by local authorities will have to post a surety bond to cover possible costs incurred by the dog. We recommend that all dog owners should be aware of these laws as any breed of dog can be deemed dangerous and liable for surety bond coverage by local authorities if it bites or attacks for any reason.
  • Pennsylvania – The state has enacted statutes 459-503-A that requires anyone who owns a dangerous dog to either show proof of insurance or post a surety bond. Both are required to be in the amount of $50,000.
  • Alabama – Law was recently passed House Bill 231 requiring owners of dogs deemed dangerous to either post a bond or provide proof of insurance in the amount of $100,000.
    There are doubtless plenty of other states that have in the past posted laws regarding dangerous dogs that require owners to post a surety bond in that state. In fact, there are few states that do not have surety bond requirements for any dog owner whose dog has been deemed dangerous because of an incident. If in doubt, ask your local animal control. Posting a surety bond in the required amount is the law and will give most owners of dogs deemed dangerous some security against unreasonable lawsuits or even the possibility of having your dog seized or put down.
 

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