If you are curious about how do you become a bail bondsman, one thing you should know, or probably already know, is that this line of work is risky. Without the necessary set of skills to identify a flight risk accurately, you can lose hundreds of dollars over a short period. This task is even more challenging since most defendants are not personally available to speak to behind bars.
In most cases, you only deal with parents, girlfriends, and wives, whose behavior can be completely different from the people you are going to bail. Despite these dangers, running your own bond agency is promising and rewarding. Below are the main reasons you should still consider this business idea:
1. The Profit Potential is Great
The crime rate in America has significantly declined since the ‘90s, but many people still misbehave. After all, crimes never really go away; they only change. Before violent crimes are commonplace, but identity theft and credit card fraud are now on the rise.
As with any business, being your own boss becomes so much easier if you already have some experience in the industry as an agent. With the perfect location, you can make a ton of money if you know what you are doing.
2. Many Methods are Available to Lower the Risk
The most successful bail bondsmen manage to balance quality and quantity. They bail hundreds of people a year and can lower default with diligence.
In addition to your non-refundable cut, which is generally at 10% of the bail, you are free to ask for collateral, which can be money held in an escrow account, a clean title of a car, or a house deed. You can also sign an agreement with a defendant’s relatives or friends to cover your losses.
Shrewd bail bondsmen require defendants to visit their office to make sure they did not leave town. If you follow this strategy, you can buy yourself precious time to hire a private investigator to track down the person you bailed before a scheduled appearance in court.
3. Families are Often Cooperative
Family members usually help bail bondsmen find rogue defendants, especially when there is collateral involved. Reasonable relatives are more afraid of losing an asset than trying to hide a fugitive.
Yes, you may still need to go to a civil court to reclaim the agreed-upon security for the bail, which can be contentious and time-consuming. This process may be more stressful for the other party, though. There is a great chance that a co-signer is going to cooperate with you in case the defendant does not show up.
Not all people are cut out to be bail bondsmen, but others who understand how things work find it worth the trouble. If you are switching careers, you do not have to transition to this industry right away. You can set your own hours, so you do not have to give up your day job. Once you have built your network and reputation, then you can consider going full-time.