Bail Bond Confessions Blog

When it rains, its wet

December 2, 2009
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So the common theme in my blog lately is that I’m bitching about not having any work.  That sort of changed today.

A lady who I’ve been trying to get released for weeks and weeks almost got out yesterday.  Her common law hubby is on disability and he was supposed to get his monthly check yesterday and bond her out.  Except that he ended up in the slammer for child support on a different kid.  So that brought in her mom who was only willing to help if hubby reimburses her. But she only had enough to cover either bail or light bill. She chose light bill. When I passed the news on to the lady in jail, she asked to speak to the mom and then proceeded to give her a competitors number to call for a cheaper rate. For weeks I’ve been working on her behalf, coordinating and reassuring. Paid for maybe 10 calls give or take a few and she pulls this shit. At least the mother wasn’t really paying much attention because she was at a hair appointment.

This morning, I called the mother and worked out a deal with her (the same original deal, but with financing) and got her to come up with 50% so we could get the lady out.  While I’m working on that, I get a call from my surety company and they want to throw me a bone on a transfer bond.  So I jump on that too.  It’s the same jail, but a different court, so I had to make two different stops.  I go to get the lady out first and when I get there, they tell me she never signed her bond forms, so they won’t let me bond her out.  They have to send the forms to the county jail to get her to sign and then have them returned.  I’m headed there next, but they won’t let me take them.  Faxing won’t work either.  They tell me to come back in the morning.

I head out to the jail and post the transfer bond.  Pain in the ass, but it’s an hours worth of work for a decent fee.  After that, I drive back to the first place.  They haven’t got the paperwork yet.  I wait until 5:30 when they close. The paperwork shows up at closing time and they let me post the bond, but they can’t process it until the morning.  Oh well, Karma’s a bitch, eh lady?

Then there was the third bond.  Only there wasn’t.  You see, last night, I get a call at 3:30am from a friend of a dude who got picked up for DUI.  I calm her down, walk her through the process and set up the scene for a follow-up in the morning.  I catch a few more Zzz’s between baby feedings and call the dude’s mother in the morning.  Run through the same spiel with her.  She lives two counties over and is driving to the morning bond court.  They say they’ll call me when the bond is set.  This one is about 30 miles away.  I would have gone out there to supervise, but had the other mess to deal with.  So I wait for the call.  Around noon, I hear that he didn’t have bond court this morning because they served him with a 2nd charge (Criminal Domestic Violence on his ex-wife).  So now he is set for afternoon bond court around 3pm.  At that point, I still driving back and forth dealing with this other shit.

Once I post the last bond, I call the dude’s jail and find out that the guy has been given a $10k bond.  That would mean $1k for me which would be 3x more than I’ve earned on any one bond so far.  I’m ecstatic.  I get home and call the Mom.  She explains that they went across the street and paid a bondsman there to bond the guy out since that jail stops doing bonds at 5pm and they wanted to make sure he gets out tonight.  So I worked my butt off for $250 and missed an opportunity for an easy $1,000.

Thankfully there was a baby nearby or I would have been swearing up a storm.

-bbc


Zeb update and a new story

November 2, 2009
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I bailed out Zeb the other day.  I guess it took about 6 weeks, but when the judge decided to push his court date back another 3 weeks, he and his girl Genevieve decided it was time to get out.

 


 

I’ve run into an unrelated situation that I’m unsure how to help with. The parents are both religious leaders and the son is in jail on a repeat offense of driving under suspension.  It isn’t anything serious, but the son just won’t get his act together. Typical story about hanging with the wrong crowd, etc etc.  The problem is that the parents can’t seem to get through to the son that he needs to get his life together. They’re thinking that keeping him in jail might be the way to teach him a lesson.  Part of me agrees, but at the same time, realizes that keeping him jail just keeps him interacting with people worse than him that might teach him stuff that will get him in deeper the next time.

I’m getting ready to become a parent myself and am worried about how I would deal with this if it was my kid.  What is the proper technique or response here?  How do you help someone get off the downward spiral if they don’t want to help themselves?

-bbc


Busy yet not busy

October 22, 2009
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My attorney initiative has been paying off…sort of.  I have as many as 4 different potential clients that are all attorney referrals.  Except that for one reason or another, none of them have turned into cash business for me yet.  One case, the family doesn’t have $$$ for the fee.  In other cases, they are either pending and/or likely to get a PR bond.

I have one today where I’m driving to an adjoining county to be on hand in a Simple Assault charge.  I don’t see how the judge wouldn’t give her a PR bond since she is very low risk, but you never know.  So I’m going to go out there “on spec” and be available if the attorney and client need me.  I suppose it is as good of a use of my time as any right now.

I’ve greatly curtailed the PAYTEL calls, which will have a decent effect on my bottom line if I can develop this non-PAYTEL related business into $$$.  I also realized that though the busiest time of year is coming up AND I will have a baby, I still need to carve out some time in December to analyze my projected budget vs. actual and create a new budget for 2010. Fun times.

Meanwhile, I’ve been fighting with Quickbooks 2010 and I think I’ve got it 90-95% setup the way my accountant wants.  I’ll need him to advise me on a few things, but hopefully that won’t be too expensive.

I’m also going to be setup for credit cards by the end of next week!

-bbc


Who do I hate more?

October 9, 2009
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On the one hand, there is PayTel.  Their onerous business practices have cost me $300 in collect phone calls and only accounted for $300 in gross income. Thats no way to run a business.  On top of that, I sent them a payment over a week ago. They cashed the check and it cleared my bank on Tuesday.

Today, I noticed I was at the limit and wasn’t receiving any calls from the jail. I tried to call customer service, but after 3 failed attempts (your call could not be completed?!?!) I resorted to the e-mail form. I explained that they have my payment, but the response was that I needed to provide them with proof. I sent them copies of the cleared check and they took it down to accounting. Someone somewhere screwed up.  Meanwhile, they really seem to be a shady company.

Then we have AT&T.  I ordered a business line with an 800 number. The first bill came in at $165. I called and raised a ruckus. I explained that I’m not even using the number to call out, I have it forwarded to my cell phone, so why is it so high?!?

They told me I could reduce the bill by canceling the line and converting it to just a forward.  It would make my bill $50/mo. I specifically asked if I would still be listed in yellow pages and was told yes. They said I would only have to pay $8/mo for the 800 number, plus the per min. charge.

I got my next bill, or should I say bills?  Came out to be around $90 and the 800 number was separate.  The 800 number accounted for nearly $30. I called and raised another ruckus. Apparently, when you go with a forwarding, the 800 number is no longer an $8 add-on. I told them to cancel it. Besides, the only calls I ever received from anyone were wrong numbers because the 800 number was exactly one digit off from a credit card company’s customer service line.

Now, I just received a solicitation from AT&T/Yellow pages. They want to sell me an ad for $50/mo to be listed in yellow and white pages. I said “Wait a minute…I’m already supposed to be there.” Again, apparently AT&T lied to me. You can not be listed in yellow pages automatically unless you have a fully dedicated line.

What bullshit.

-R


Lost another bond

October 7, 2009
3 Comments

For over a week, I’ve been working on two different bonds. One guy is in for check fraud and the other is in for a variety of problems.  The best deal I can offer the variety guy is $500 up front and weekly payments of $75 for 12 weeks. The problem is that his family and friends can’t come up with the $500. Even his grandmother is refusing to part with $70.  Meanwhile, the guy calls me 5-6 times a day trying to get me to allow him to 3-way call his friends and family to twist their arms into getting him out. I’ve taken on a small percentage of his calls, but even so, I figure I’ve spent over $50 on him. I told him I wouldn’t accept any more of his calls until I hear from his family that they have the money.

The other fellow had to come up with $230, but he couldn’t get his family to do it either.  I talked to him a little less and figured around $30 worth of collect calls. Then, yesterday he tells me he got time served on all but one charge, which would bring his bond fee down to $30.  I told him that I would work with his family and try to get him out first thing in the morning (time served as of Midnight) and that I wouldn’t answer any more calls from him since it’s $3 a call and I’m only making $30.  No problem, right? Even then, he still calls like 12 more times and I ignored the call (mistake?).  I still couldn’t get his mom and brother on the same page to sign paperwork last night (he wasn’t a 1st time offender) and pay $30.  I don’t know what they were thinking, but the mom called me this morning asking why her son was still in jail.

Every time I talk to her, I have to explain the situation.  Then she says she understands, but clearly she doesn’t or why would she have to ask each time? Anyway, I set an appointment time to meet her after lunch (I was meeting with an attorney at lunch to see if I can drum up more business) and collect the fee and signatures.  Just after lunch as I was driving to her house, she called and said that her nephew went to a competitor of mine and bailed him out!

So now I’ve got almost no prospects again and a high Paytel bill to pay.  Great.


Ronnie’s story

September 20, 2009
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This afternoon I was out at the park with friends.  We were having a good time and planning on going to get lunch when I received a call from Ronnie at the detention center.  Now, I’m not at PC and have no way of verifying his story, but he says he was picked up for DUI and it is his first offense.  He is in his 40’s and owns his own home, worked for the same company for over 20 years, and needs help with his $997 bond.  I told him that if his story checks out, I would let him out for $100.  I was able to verify his story when someone at home looked him up on the computer for me.  I connected him with a friend who was able to run to the bank and pick up the fee for me and then the friend met me in the park where I took the fee and gave him a receipt.  I skipped lunch and went home to get cleaned up and then on to the jail.  Approximately 2 hrs later, Ronnie was a free man again and very grateful.  He had spent about 12 hours in jail, but never moved past the intake part.  Unfortunately, his car was in impound and it was too late to pick it up.  I gave him a ride home and called it a day.

It was truly a win-win situation and I’m happy to have posted my first bond. After the BUF fund contribution and Insurance commission are taken out of the amount, I get to keep around $80.  When I got home, I logged into my PAY-TEL account and saw that the balance was $99. I’m still in the negatives, but I have great feelings about this week!

-bbc


Here’s a little story about a man named Zeb

September 19, 2009
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So this whole damn drama just cost me around $30-$35  in collect calls today.  At least I can write it up for posterity sake. Name’s changed to protect the guilty.

So I get a phone call this morning from a man named Zeb.  He was arrested the other day and has a $1275 bail for DUI. Except that he also happens to have a bench warrant with a $653 fine in an adjoining county.  Poor Zeb has is own business mowing lawns and he also details cars for extra money.  He needs to get out because he has some jobs lined up.  Zeb isn’t married, but he has a baby Mama (Genevieve) and they have been together a long time.  In fact, according to court records, they’ve been evicted from a few different places, but it looks like they stayed together through the tough times.  Zeb’s got himself a little girl and I guess I’m a little to empathetic because I tried to help him out more than I should have, which is why the collect calls racked up.

He gave me a number for Genevieve, but she doesn’t have an answering machine and she wasn’t at home since she went to the flea market to sell some stuff. So after trying that # a few times (and there is an issue in that my phone can only 3way call out, but I can’t selectively disconnect one of the parties and try again!), we then called Genevieve’s brother, Abe.  Abe wasn’t too keen on helping and basically told Zeb that she wasn’t around.  This went on once or twice throughout the day.  Finally, Zeb was supposed to call me before lockdown at 10pm, but he jumped the gun and started calling around 8pm.  I ignored the calls until 8:30p and tried Genevieve’s number to no avail. When I finally answered Zeb’s calls, he convinced me to try Abe’s number and lo and behold, Genvieve was there!  This is where the fun begins.

You see, Zeb tells me that Genevieve will be getting paid soon and she will pay his $653 fine in the other county and my $120 fee (yes, that is all that I would make from this ordeal, before expenses).  But when he starts talking with her (and he doesn’t know I’m listening in), she tells him that they can’t afford it or they will be evicted again. He tells her to do it anyway, that he will find them a new place to live, but she doesn’t bite.  Back in the day, Zeb and her must have discussed this scenario of him being arrested again, because she brings up this old conversation of theirs where he told her he would man up and do the time to get it over with.

I guess it is easy to say things like that when you are free, but much harder to follow through when you are locked up.  Poor Zeb started crying on the phone to her.  Begging her to let him out, but bless Genevieve, she stuck to her guns and insisted that she will use that money for rent and not let herself and their child get evicted.  And then they ran out of time and get disconnected.

A little while later, I get a call back from Zeb.  He is quite insistent that Genevieve will pay me on Monday (two days from now) and that will get him out of his current county and transferred to the other county where he will do his time.  I pressed him on this as it didn’t seem like that was how they resolved the last call.  But since he still doesn’t know I listen in, I can’t be too obvious about what I know.  He has no other way of talking to her except through me and yet he didn’t bother to give her my name or contact info.

He assured me that the plan is set and he just needs to tell her how to contact me to arrange payment.  I go ahead and put him through (I’m such a sucker!) and they talk it out a little longer, but again he doesn’t mention me, nor does he even mention the plan.  It’s the same old stuff about him wanting out, she not having the money, and them having to deal with it.  He talks to his kid for a minute and I tear up, but at least it is on mute.  The kid puts Mama back on and they say their good byes.  He asks her to put some money into the Paytel system so he can call her directly, then they run out of time.

At this point, Zeb thinks he has me convinced that I’m getting paid on Monday, but I know better.  I’m sure he will call me in the morning with some excuse for why he wasn’t able to get the plan to her or whatnot.  But what he doesn’t know is that I called Genevieve back a few minutes after their last call. I played dumb and told her basically what he told me.  That she will be paying me on Mon. and he will transfer to the other jail at that time.

Genevieve was all kinds of “hell no!” and she forcefully (but politely) explained to me that they don’t have any money for bail and he is going to sit there and tough it out.  So now I’m ready to call Zeb on his lies to me when he calls me in the morning.  Hopefully, I will get him to scout out at least one good bond while he is in there to make it all worthwhile for me.

So like I said…I’m out like $30 in collect calls, but at least I got a story out of it.

-bbc


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