Bail Bond Confessions Blog

Need advice | May 27, 2010

This morning I found myself in a court room waiting for proceedings to begin.  I struck up a conversation with the bondsman next to me.  This is a guy I’ve talked to a couple of times.  I’ve heard some pretty disgusting rumors about him, but nothing confirmed.  I believe he is also the same guy that threatened to charge the indemnitor of one of my clients additional bond fee’s in order to stay on my client’s initial bond, when I got the larger 2nd offense bond (here).

In any case, I stayed cordial and even bordered on friendly.  I asked him for advice on how his company (largest in town) competes with the 6% shops. He told me it isn’t a big deal and suggested that when quoting/collecting funds from new clients, that I don’t clarify/stipulate/mention that this is not a one time fee.  Instead, after a few months, he then suggests I send them a bill for the other 4% (6+4=10) of the bond fee.

Then I asked what you do when they don’t pay and he says “Oh, you get off the bond then.”  I asked how, since it is illegal to revoke a bond for non-payment here.  He then suggested that I send out regular reminders for court to addresses on file (I currently make telephone calls instead) and hope that the notice gets returned to me because the defendant has moved. Then, even if I happen to know where the defendant is, I can take that returned piece of mail to the judge and ask for revocation since it would seem that the client is being evasive and I “don’t know where the defendant is and/or if they are trying to flee”.  He said you just need a little excuse to get off the bond.

So…what do you think I should do?  I find these suggestions abhorrent, but I’m not sure what, if anything, I should do about it.  I considered contacting our regulator and discussing it with him, but no one likes a tattle tale and more importantly they are a big player in the area and I have no protection.

Let me put it this way…they are such a big player in the area that I have reason to believe that they have secure access to the local jail database, whereas I only have public access and am limited to only very basic searches and information.

-bbc

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3 Comments »

  1. These problems are happening nationwide. You may want to contact http://www.pbus.org (Professional Bail Agents of the United States) It’s our national bail bond association. If there is a local association that is not influenced by that company, you can try talking to them about what the best approach might be. If you are going to consider doing something on your own, try to get more information if you can before going to the authorities. If there is any way you can document any of the illegal activity, law enforcement and/or the regulating authorities will be more able and willing to help. That’s if they care to help at all. Some authorities just don’t give a darn and say so. It is very frustrating.

    Comment by Bonnie Merrick, 1st Class Bail Bonds, Inc. — May 28, 2010 @ 1:43 am

    • I hadn’t thought of PBUS before. I’m a member, but I haven’t done much with them. (This bondsman’s agency in question has been a long standing PBUS member!) Our local bail bond association is pretty polarized politically and definitely not unified. I’m not sure if I trust any of them right now. I’ve discussed it a bit with some of my attorney friends, but we pretty much agree that while it is an abhorrent business practice, it is just far enough in the gray area that it could still be considered legal.

      Getting the documentation would be the biggest obstacle. There really isn’t any proof and it would just be a he said/she said situation if I go to the regulator. For now, I suppose I’ll just have to watch and monitor.

      Comment by bailbondconfessions — May 29, 2010 @ 9:36 am

  2. I hate these guys, too! You’re right. The biggest obstacle is proof. You need one (or many) of their clients to give affadavits.

    Comment by Tonya Rynerson — June 26, 2010 @ 10:38 am


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