Instructions: Budget Planner Application
There is a separate Budget Planner Application Form that accompanies these instructions for preparing and filing an application for a license pursuant to the provisions of Article 12-C of the New York Banking Law.
GENERAL APPLICATION PROCEDURE
- Application for a license shall be made upon forms issued by the Superintendent of Financial Services of the State of New York. The application forms are available on the Department’s website.
- The Application Form, Individual Questionnaires and other related forms must be filed under oath.
- All forms are to be printed or typed and fully completed. Enter "none" or "not applicable" where appropriate. If additional space is required to respond, prepare and annex a signed rider.
- The application and accompanying schedules where appropriate must be signed by every individual or entity that will be a control party of the budget planner if a license is granted. For the purposes of this application, the term “control party” shall mean any individual or entity that possesses, directly or indirectly, the power to direct or cause the direction of the management and policies of a licensee.
- Full names and addresses must be given, including zip codes and counties, where requested. Please include a completed Zoning Affidavit for the proposed licensed location.
- An applicant desiring to do business under a trade name must file a Certificate of Assumed Name in the office of the Secretary of State in accordance with Section 130 of the General Business Law. A certified copy of the certificate must be submitted with the application.
- (a) A New York corporation must submit a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, certified by the Secretary of State of New York with the application, if applicable, with a copy of the corporate by-laws.
(b) A corporation incorporated in another state must submit a copy of its respective Certificate of Incorporation certified by its Secretary of State, with its corporate by-laws. In addition, such corporation must submit a copy of the Certificate of Authority to do business in the State of New York.
- All organizations must submit a copy of the Charities Registration Statement issued by the State of New York’s Office of the Attorney General, Charities Bureau, or a similar charities registration statement issued by the state of incorporation.
- An applicant is required to submit a detailed list of all of its branches, subsidiaries, affiliates and the parent company.
STATEMENT OF MERIT
Each applicant must furnish, on its own form, a detailed statement describing the applicant’s proposed budget planning operation in full, including but not limited to:
- A list of all fees to be charged by the applicant;
- The sources of funding and financing available to the applicant, and;
- A business plan describing the budgeting, educational, and counseling services to be offered; the policies and procedures governing each such service including the curriculum to be utilized to provide the educational services; the person(s) responsible for administering each such service and the training to be provided to employees engaged in the rendering of each such service.
Under Section 585 of the Banking Law, the fee or service charges set by a licensee shall be reviewed taking into consideration the expenses of the operations of licensees, the financial status of debtors for whom budget planning is undertaken, and such other factors as the Superintendent shall deem relevant.
In preparing your Statement of Merit, please note the types and amounts of coverage that you already carry or plan to obtain to cover insurable risks. In view of the fact that the debtor, already in great stress, cannot afford the risk of loss of money and other valuable assets entrusted to the budget planner, careful scrutiny is given to insurable risks and the amount and type of coverage for them. A number of coverages may be appropriate to cover insurable risk such as indemnity coverage of robbery, fraud, and embezzlement by insiders and outsiders, holdup, burglary, misplacement, forgery, errors, omissions, etc.; public liability; fire and extended coverage on offices and equipment.
In view of the not-for-profit nature of the business and the statutory standards described in Section 581, please provide adequate support for a finding that your corporation, as a budget planner, has the attributes that do in fact command the confidence of the community and warrant belief that the business will be operated honestly, fairly, and efficiently within the purposes of Article 12-C.
For instance, community confidence and community support are closely related and may be demonstrated by various responsible community leaders serving on the Board of Directors, the amounts and types of voluntary financial support given or pledged, and the willingness of recognized religious, social service, labor, industrial, government employee organization, etc., who have indicated, after their own investigation, their willingness to refer their group members to your organization.
Pursuant to Section 580 of the Banking Law, experience is a statutory criterion for licensing. Therefore, each individual signing the application is to furnish, on his/her own form, a resume of experience in financial services or related fields applicable to budget planning. Please include evidence of professional certification, if any.
The applicant may submit any additional information which is deemed pertinent and which may bear upon a determination that the business will be operated honestly, fairly, efficiently and in such manner as to command the confidence of the community, within the intent and purpose of the law.
Each person signing the application must complete a New York State Department of Financial Services Questionnaire. (The form may be reproduced.)
INDIVIDUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Each person signing the application must submit a Personal Financial Statement.
FINANCIAL STATEMENT AND PROJECTIONS
Audited Financial Statements including a balance sheet, an income and expense statement with the respective changes in fund balances, and a statement of cash flows must be submitted for each of the last three fiscal years.
If the applicant is a new corporation, and does not have a three-year period of actual operations supported by audited financial data, then a pro-forma balance sheet and projection of income, expenses, changes in fund balances and a statement of cash flows is required. In addition, please provide an estimate of the number of New York contract agreements and the respective dollar volume for three years into the future.
When the applicant does not have a three year period of actual audited operations, please provide a list of creditor contributions and amounts, a list of other contributions and amounts, a list of all clients with fee and related amounts, a list of all salaries and benefits paid to directors, and adequate financial data on amounts paid by the applicant directly or on behalf of clients, or by clients after referral to any outside professional persons such as attorneys, accountants, or consultants, etc.
The balance sheet data of the applicant must include the financial statement supplementary schedule information and an adequate response to the second page of the form which provides for describing contingent liabilities, suits, judgments, and other legal actions, title of assets, etc. Projected balance sheet information may be prepared on our form or on that of your independent accountant. Please note, when preparing the balance sheet data that our financial statement form is to be completed and sworn to by the president of the applicant corporation.
ADEQUACY OF INTERNAL CONTROL, INTERNAL AUDIT AND EXTERNAL AUIDT BY AN INDEPENDENT CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANT
If the applicant corporation does not have a three-year period of actual operation supported by audited financial data, please have your independent public accountant provide to us a letter stating that the accountant has reviewed and tested the systems of internal accounting and internal audit to the extent considered necessary to evaluate the accounting and auditing systems as required by generally accepted auditing standards. The letter should disclose the results of their review and testing.
In addition, please have your accountant send to us a copy of their current scope of engagement letter and copies of all prior engagement letters.
SURETY BOND – DEPOSIT AGREEMENT
Section 580.4 of Article 12-C of the Banking Law, and Article 28-B, of the General Business Law, require that all licensed budget planners must file with the Superintendent a surety bond. Applicants holding contracts with New York residents MUST submit a surety bond with the application. If the application does not include a surety bond the application will be considered incomplete and will NOT be processed.
In lieu of a surety bond, the applicant may elect to keep on deposit certain assets with a bank or similar institution so identified in Banking Law, Section 580.4. Please see the attached blank deposit agreement.
Every applicant or control party must provide fingerprints as per Article 2 – Section 22 of the New York State Banking Law and Part 402 of the Superintendent’s Regulation. Please refer to the Fingerprinting Procedures posted on our website. If you have any questions concerning this procedure, please contact the Department at (212) 709-5507.
LAWS AND REGULATIONS
Budget Planners are subject to the provisions of Article 12-C of the Banking Law. The Banking Law is available via the NYS Consolidated Laws under BNK (for Banking), Article 12-C Budget Planners. The General Business Law pertinent to Budget Planners is also available via the Consolidated Laws under GBS (for General Business), Article 28-B Budget Planning.
Parts 402 and 404 of the Superintendent’s Regulations are available on the Department of State's New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR)under Chapter III Superintendent’s Regulations, Subchapter B Non-Banking Organizations.
FINANCIAL INSTITUTION REFERENCES
Each person signing the application must provide the name and addresses of the financial institution(s), which provide(s) his/her checking account(s) services, any borrowing relationships, for both personal and business purposes.
Please include specific account identification and a written authorization for the bank to release account information to the Department. If the financial institution relationship is less than two years duration, kindly provide a prior financial institution reference, if applicable.
BACKGROUND INVESTIGATION REPORTS
In connection with your application to organize a budget planner supervised by the Department, an investigative background report is required. It is the responsibility of the applicant and its principals (officers, directors, stockholders holding ten percent or more of outstanding stock, partners or individuals, as applicable), to order such reports at their own expense from an independent licensed private investigation company.
Please note that all background investigation reports must be provided directly to the Department by the private investigation company. These reports should be ordered early since they may take almost 8 weeks to be completed and delivered to the Department. Failure to promptly order the reports may delay application processing.
These reports should be sent to:
New York State Department of Financial Services
Licensed Financial Services
One State Street
New York, NY 10004-1511
New York State Department of Financial Services Required Background Investigation Information
The following listing relative to such background reports specifies all requirements and must be submitted as part of the application process.
No background report will be considered complete unless ALL the information requested below is included in the investigation report.
- Comprehensive credit report/history (include the actual report as well as summary).
- * Civil Court and Bankruptcy Court records for the past 10 years.
- * Criminal records (felonies, misdemeanors and violations).
* Include federal, state and local courts. Such reports shall contain, at a minimum, court data from courts located in the counties in which the applicant both worked and resided and all counties contiguous to those counties.
- Education records.
- Employment history.
- Personal and professional references (at least three of each, excluding relatives), which must be furnished in writing.
- Media history, if applicable (including electronic search of national and local newspapers, wire services and business publications).
- Regulatory history, if applicable (HUD, FREDDIE MAC, State Regulators, OCC, FINRA, etc.).
- Department of Motor Vehicle records.
- All judgments and liens filed with the county clerk (within the past ten years). Such reports shall contain, at a minimum, information on judgments and liens filed with the county clerk in counties where the applicant worked and resided and all counties contiguous to those counties.
- Licenses granted by any governmental agency or judicial body. (Indicate if they are still in good standing.)
- Listing of all credit relationships by the applicant such as revolving credit and established credit facilities. Indicate any credit extensions, including loans, on which the applicant is in default (more than 90 days past due).
The enclosed Certification Form relative to such background reports shall be submitted with the application for each individual signing the application.
SUBMISSION OF AGREEMENTS
A copy of all of the contracts and other documents that the applicant intends to give to customers must be submitted with the application.
GENERAL ASSESSMENT CHARGES
Once licensed, a budget planner will be charged an annual general assessment fee. This assessment consolidates all Department operating costs and is payable in four installments. Please see the Department’s website under Industry and Circular Letters to review the latest Assessment Calculator Charts, to determine costs and factors relevant to Budget Planners and to approximate your assessment amount.
The investigation fees for each Budget Planner application filed are prescribed within Section 18-a of the Banking Law and are as follows:
Original License and Change of Control Applications - $3,000
Additional Branch Location - $0
Change of Location - $0
Note: Where an applicant operates several places of business, each location requires a separate license and application. Investigation fees are non refundable. Please make checks payable to the Superintendent of Financial Services.
No application will be published in the Department’s Weekly Banking Bulletin until substantially all information and documents required by all applicable laws and regulations as determined by the Superintendent are received and evaluated by Department staff. If you have questions concerning the preparation and filing of an application, please contact Licensed Financial Services at (212) 709-5507.
Request for waivers: All of the information and documents required to be submitted by an applicant shall be supplied or a waiver shall have been granted, before an application shall be considered complete. Requests for waivers of application requirements shall be in writing, and state, in reasonable detail, the basis for the request for the waiver. Please be aware that any waiver request should include an appropriate substitute for the required information. No application requirement shall be deemed waived unless a written notice of waiver shall have been issued.
Applicants applying for a branch license need not resubmit any information already on file but may incorporate it by reference. Please note that previously filed information may be out-dated, the Department therefore may ask that this information be re-filed.