Bail Bond Confessions Blog

Quiet Day

September 16, 2009
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Today was quiet, which I suppose is a good thing.  Yesterday, I drove out to my county jail and met with an administrator there to ensure that they actually post my info.  While waiting to meet her, a group of 57 5th graders showed up for a field trip. Seems like an odd place to take a field trip.  My meeting went quickly and smoothly.  While I waited to leave (all 57 kids were piling in single file), there was an attractive young woman waiting behind me to exit also.  We walked out together when the path was clear and I made small talk to the parking lot. Turns out that she is an attorney and was meeting with a client. I offered her some business cards, hopefully it will turn into something.

Then I got on the highway to go out to that far away county from last week that gave me so much trouble with my license. Seeing as how it was Tuesday and the timing was right, I figured I should go down in person.  10 minutes into the trip, a lady from the far away clerk of court’s office called and said she needed more proof of collateral/net worth from me. I turned right around and headed back to my local county clerk of court. They basically typed up the same letter that I previously submitted, but they signed it this time and included a photocopy of the appropriate legal code.  I got verbal acknowledgement from the obstinate county that this would be acceptable and then headed out there.  I dropped off the paperwork and ensured my license was accepted.  Then I headed out to the detention center. I dropped off copies of the paperwork and my contact info, but I’m not sure if they will post it.  I’ll follow up next week.

Got home and started tying up some loose ends.  I’ve applied for an account with a background search company.  Everything looked OK, but they require original copies (oxymoron) of my articles of incorporation.  I sent them what I have, but it was all done online and they didn’t seem pleased with what I sent them. I pointed out that those documents are public and it seems rather silly that they would require me to provide them with information that they should have access to.  Not only should they have access to it, but that is the kind of stuff they sell. Thats like the movie theater asking you to send them the script before they let you buy a ticket.  Makes no sense.

Finally, there is a huge money making racket going on in our prison systems. Prisoners are only allowed to make collect phone calls and the prisons have contracted out to 3rd party telephone companies that specialize in providing a high cost (automated) service and they use monopolistic practices to maintain the ability to charge inflated rates.  I realized that I needed to set up accounts with these companies so I can start accepting calls from the jails. Well…I guess one of them is going through a significant shake up or acquisition because although its website says they have 24/7 customer service, you can e-mail them at any time, or you can use the instant chat method, none of these generated expected responses.  I called the customer service number nearly a half dozen times throughout the day and each time it resulted in me navigating the automated system to the option for speaking with a live person, only to be transferred to a message saying they were all busy and to call back.  Then it hung up on me.  Using the IM route, I’m told immediately that no one is available and to try back later.  I did send an e-mail, but it took over 24 hours before I even received an automated response.  Wonderful.

Before the day ended, I wrote a Thank You note to the bitchy clerk in that far away county.  It never hurts to butter them up for next time.  I also wrote a lengthy letter of commendation to my local clerk of court expressing my gratitude for all that they have done to help me get started.  Sure, I complain all the time, but it is nice to be able to write a non-complaint letter every now and again.  Especially when someone deserves it and this staff definitely deserve it.

At least I get to look forward to an ultrasound appointment for the baby on Friday.

-bbc


I see London, I see France…

August 19, 2009
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So I’m this |>  <| close to getting my surety license.  It is still out of my hands and being processed by a bunch of bureaucrats.  Perhaps by tomorrow afternoon I will have the license and be able to print out the dozen or so copies that I need.

Once I have the copies, I have to take them down to my home county clerk of court and have them “clocked” in.  I get to pay them an unreasonable sum for this.  After that, I have to drive to seven other county court houses and get stamps from each of them certifying me to perform bond business in those counties.  Some, but not all of the counties, will require me to then drive to the respective county detention center to enter my contact info onto the list so inmates can then call me collect and charge me $$$ to talk to me.  Most of the counties will at least do me the favor of putting my contact info up on the “board” fairly quickly.  Not my home county.  They only update their info once a month.  So I won’t be on those boards until after 9/8. So much for the Labor Day business.

In other news, I had a mini-freakout today.  I received back-to-back contracts to sign up with a credit card processor and bail bonds software. Adding all of the monthly fees together along with my other financial commitments (phones, loans, etc.), I would be looking at having to generate 10k in bonds each month just to break even.  This probably is not a lot, heck that can be one bond or even just a fraction of one bond.  However, when you have NO INCOME and no idea how or when your income will start coming in, it becomes a little overwhelming.

-bbc


Tests and Meetings

July 7, 2009
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I took my license test yesterday and passed with flying colors. 90th percentile, yay!  I scheduled my 2nd and last test for Thursday morning.

Today, I drove 2 hours to meet with a “local” Surety company about signing on with them.  They basically offered me 13% bond cost + 10% buildup fund and acknowledged that over time, the bond cost will come down.  They took me out to lunch, though the restaurant they picked had a “B” rating by the regulatory department…hope we don’t get sick!

Anyway, I received lots of excellent information from them and updated my business plan and financial projections accordingly. They suggested an alternate strategy which is growing on me:

Our local urban areas are filled with long established bondsmen, however if I am willing to drive an hour in any direction, there are around a half dozen rural counties that have far less competition (granted, far less crime too).  So in the begining, my focus will be on these rural areas and than I can expand into my local area.  Its counter-intuitive, but has an elegant sort of logic to it.

-bbc


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