How To Verify Your BMC-85 Trust

Most freight brokers don't know that there is little oversight on trust funds. If you decide to secure your $75K FMCSA requirement with a trust, you need to do some extra leg work to ensure you don't get burnt.

How You Can Get Ripped Off

BMC-85 Trust Funds require that the trustee hold either $75,000 cash or obtain a financial instrument such as an Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILOC) to guarantee that the full claim amount can be paid on your behalf. The FMCSA does not confirm that each trust is properly funded as they are filed. That burden is left on the freight broker. It is possible for a trust provider to file your BMC-85 trust fund without proper funding.

If your trust is not properly funded, you may not find out until it is too late. The FMCSA has shut down BMC-85 trustees in the past for only partially funding trusts, resulting in Federal indictments and leaving freight brokers scrambling to pay for a new bond or trust to remain in compliance.

How To Protect Yourself

If you're buying a trust, you need to make sure that you are getting what you're paying for. The FMCSA declared that the group trust funds are not an acceptable option. Therefore, if you are purchasing a BMC-85 trust fund and not providing $75,000 in cash collateral, you must provide an Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILOC) to the trustee, or they must post the ILOC on your behalf.


Obtain a copy of the ILOC (see: example ILOC)


Check the ILOC to ensure it specifically lists your company


Contact the bank backing the ILOC to confirm it is legitimate


Contact the state in which the bank is licensed to confirm its status

If the trustee refuses to provide you a copy of the ILOC, it should be a huge warning flag that you are not getting what you are paying for and the trustee may be at risk of getting shut down.

Save Yourself The Headache, Get A Bond

You don't have to verify that a surety bond is properly funded, as it is already done for you by the Department of Insurance and third parties like A.M. Best. Bonding companies are given both a financial size category and financial stability grade by the rating agency. These ratings are used by the government to verify everything is in place for you.

The majority of freight brokers choose the BMC-84 surety bond to secure their $75,000 FMCSA requirement (see: BMC-84 Surety Bond vs. BMC-85 Trust). However, roughly 1 in 3 freight brokers still utilize a trust fund to meet the requirement. If you're currently one of them, it's a good idea to follow the steps above to ensure you're safe.

Alternatively, you can obtain a bond with JW Surety Bonds, the #1 provider of BMC-84 freight broker surety bonds in the country. We'll provide you a pre-verified surety bond as your security and save you money too!


Michael is a surety bond expert who specializes in streamlining the surety process. His background in both computer science and surety knowledge provides a unique knowledge set that has fueled his mission to make the process of obtaining a surety bond simple and painless. His efforts have helped grow JW Surety Bonds to become the largest volume producer of surety bonds in the nation.

What our clients have to say

Paige Cotcamp
"I would recommend them highly if you are in the market for surety bonds or similar products."
Ulli Bisono
"When I told them how urgent my request was, they pulled out all the stops and got it done in record time - amazing!"
Eric McMullen
"JW Surety Bonds was able to get me what I needed and gave me the best price of all the bond companies I received quotes from."
Hilda Morfi
"As a small business owner I was looking for a bond company that could issue me a bond at a rate I could afford, and JW Surety Bond by far gave me the best quote."
Stewart Prosser
"Patsy Tinsman seems to always have the answers and goes above and beyond the call of duty to make sure we are taken care of in a timely manner. The personal service she provides makes us think we are her only client..."
Jack Duff
"JW Surety Bonds has continued to meet or exceed my expectations in the past 3 years of business relations."
Jason Webster
"I had a very time sensitive issue that I was needing assistance on. Cori got back to me right away (within minutes) and followed up with me constantly until we had resolved the issue."