Brokers, dealers and installers of manufactured homes in Ohio must obtain a $25,000 bond as part of their licensing requirement with the Ohio Department of Commerce. Think of this bond as a tool used by the State of Ohio to protect the mobile home purchaser from financial loss via fraudulent acts of the broker, dealer or installer.
With Jet Insurance Company, you can purchase this bond online right now. Choose between our annual or monthly terms.
The lowest cost of the bond is $25, as part of our monthly subscription program for the license bond. Annual bond terms are available starting at $250. Bond rates are dependent on the personal credit of the applicant. Below is the preferred rate tier for applicants:
Manufactured home installers have an option to obtain a $10,000 bond limit with the purchase of a $300k general liability policy. In that case, our rates start at $10 monthly or $100 annually.
It all starts with the Ohio State Legislature making rules to protect the people. While Jet is no fan of unnecessary red tape, we despise fraud and dishonest acts even more so. The Ohio Administrative Code 4781 details the law and rules surrounding the manufactured home industry of Ohio. The bond is a licensing requirement for dealers, brokers and installers. Those roles and the people they oversee (like salespersons) have the opportunity to cause damages to home purchasers through fraudulent behavior.
Dealer and broker licensing is overseen by the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. Installer licensing is under the jurisdiction of the Division of Industrial Compliance. Both divisions are tasked with upholding the investigation and enforcement of manufactured home law.
The surety bond is a measure incorporating a third party financial guarantor (Jet Insurance Company) to not only underwrite potential licensee applicants, but make payment to the public for damages sustained but are not remedied by the offending party. In a perfect world, dealers and installers would act honestly and should an accident occur by the dealer or installer’s fault, the dealer or installer would then take necessary steps to rectify the loss to their customer for damages sustained. However, dishonest people exist and even when caught, they will refuse to make repairs for the damages they caused. Jet steps in at that point to guarantee financial recourse to the damaged home buyers.
Damages from fraudulent actions can occur by action of the all three licensees, yet the focus for dealers and brokers is on their handling of down payments. The surety bond specifically calls out protection for damages sustained by the home purchaser from the misuse of the down payment submitted to the dealer or broker.
There also may be a case made by the State of Ohio against dealers and brokers if taxes are not properly forwarded following a deal. Although it’s unlikely, Ohio may come after the bond as a measure of restitution.
The entire process can be done online in minutes with Jet. You can always call us at 855-296-2663 to apply for the bond as well.
We do need a social security number for the applicant to run a soft credit check, as rates are dependent on credit scores. The credit check only takes seconds and will not affect your credit rating.
You will have the option to immediately purchase the bond after answering some basic questions. Just select the term you want and make payment. A copy of the bond and receipt will be available right after purchase.
Does Grizzly Adams have a beard? Yes! Jet will file the bond directly to either division of the Ohio Department of Commerce. If you would like to file the bond yourself (for example, with the original application for a license), just let us know; we will send you the original bond form.
Dealers and brokers send the bond form to the following address:
Ohio Department of Commerce
Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
7 South High St, 20th Fl
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Installers send the bond form to the following address:
Ohio Department of Commerce - OCILB
6606 Tussing Road
Reynoldsburg, Ohio 43068-9009
If you purchased the bond on annual terms, then you can get a refund. Jet will calculate any time left on the bond term and send you a prorated refund. We do have to wait 30 days, as that is the required time with the Ohio Department of Commerce before the bond can be cancelled following notification by Jet.
For those on the monthly subscription, Jet will stop payments after the 30 day period has passed. Since it is monthly, there will be no refund. Pay-as-you-go plans are just that — the bond will remain in effect as long as payments are made.
To request cancellation, just send an email to [email protected].
Monthly subscribers have nothing to worry about after purchase. So long as the automatic payment from the card you provide goes through, the bond will stay active.
For those on one-, two- or three-year prepaid terms, Jet will send a renewal notice prior to the bond’s expiration date. All you need to do is pay before the expiration date to keep the bond active.
Manufactured Home Dealer and Brokers
Following the rules and regulations outlined in Ohio Administrative Code 4781-11 is a great place to start to avoid issues with the public and the Department of Commerce.
Proper handling of down payments is of key importance in regards to financial troubles for a dealer or broker. A trust account dedicated to the handling of home purchaser funds must be utilized and accounted for. Furthermore, with down payments collected the transfer of the home and the condition of the home must be as agreed upon. Tax payments must be delivered appropriately.
Any complaint from a home purchaser against a dealer or broker will be handled by the Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing. The Division will make a determination if an investigation is necessary. If an investigation is conducted, a ruling will be made and the dealer or broker must oblige. In cases involving down payments, tax payments or trust accounts, disciplinary action may include a claim on the bond without further processes.
For fraudulent acts against a homeowner causing fiscal damage, a court conviction must happen before a claim on the surety bond can be made. We hope a complaint never gets to this point, for everyone’s sake.
Manufactured Home Installers
Manufactured home installers can find the codes outlining their profession in the Ohio Administrative Code 4781-8. To stay clear of trouble installers should know and follow the provisions within.
Installers need to follow an eight-step installation process as detailed on the Department of Commerce website. This includes foundation and electrical inspections as well as a final inspection. Passing all inspections and notifying the county auditor within 14 days of the installation should be good enough not to run into any future trouble.
Should a home purchaser suffer any financial damage from the fraudulent actions of an installer, their recourse (other than going directly to the installer or dealer) is to file a complaint with the Ohio Department of Commerce Division of Industrial Compliance. That division can choose to investigate or not, based on the complaint. An investigation will lead to a determination of fault and, if guilty, to a mitigation process to recoup damages. If the installer fails to make amends, the division is left with the option to impose severe penalization, which may include a claim against the surety bond to recover losses sustained by the home purchaser.
We all hope it never comes to this, but if you catch wind of a claim against you, please inform Jet right away. We will assist you in how to proceed and defend you as necessary from fraudulent accusations.
Jet must respond to the claimant within 15 days and complete our investigation within 90 days. If the claim against a broker, dealer or installer is valid, Jet will make payment for the damages caused, but not exceeding the bond limit of $25,000.
The process does not end there. Unlike other insurances that protect against accidents, surety bonds protect against fraudulent behavior that goes without rectification. The guilt of that action does not transfer to the surety company (Jet) and therefore, like all surety bonds, the debt remains with the principal (in this case, with the licensed broker, dealer or installer). The principal is required to pay Jet back in the amount of the claim.