Posted on: 3 June 2016
A career in bail bond services can be rewarding and lucrative, but like many others it requires careful planning. The average bondsman is looking at bringing in a $20,000-$40,000 first-year salary. But with the right tools and by making the right preparations, that figure can easily exceed six figures. If you're thinking of heading down the bail bondsman career path, here are three things you need in order to be successful.
Becoming a bail bondsman doesn't require an extensive education. At a minimum you need a high school diploma or GED, but in most states you'll need to take a pre-licensing course in order to be prepared for any required exams. It's important to note, however, that those who hold degrees in finance, law, or business administration are typically at an advantage because an extensive understanding of laws and general finance is crucial for success.
For instance, some states have a cap on the percentage of the bond amount you are legally allowed to charge your clients, and they range from 10-20%. Some bondsmen only charge 2-3% in order to attract more business, knowing they will make this money up from the surety or insurance company. Again, an in-depth knowledge of finances can give you the tools you need to grow your business.
Also, if your client fails to show up for court, you'll be responsible for paying back the bond. Naturally, you'll want to track down your client with the help of a bounty hunter or bail enforcement agent. But some states currently do not allow bounty hunting, so a thorough knowledge of laws is not only helpful, it's critical to your success.
Not all states require a license to be a bail bondsman. Some counties within states only require the submission of an application and a financial statement, while in others you'll be required to bring proof of your coursework to a testing facility before taking a licensing exam. Preparation is key.
Before beginning the process, you'll need to familiarize yourself not only with state laws, but with the laws within your county. Talk with the sheriff's department. Read the statutes. An intimate connection exists between bail bondsmen and law enforcement, and often the Sheriff is involved with approving a bail bondsman license application. These agencies and organizations can point you in the right direction for obtaining a license if necessary.
When you provide bail for your clients, where does that money come from? Well, it comes from you in the form of a bail bond, but ultimately it comes from the insurance company, which guarantees the bond for you.
Say your client needs $10,000 to get out of jail. They don't have that kind of money lying around, so they come to you. You pay the insurance company a premium for the bail bond, which you in turn charge your client. The bail is then paid to the court. When they will show up for their trial, you get the bail money back and everything is settled.
But what happens if the defendant doesn't show up for court? Then you'll need to find the defendant, with the help of a bounty hunter service, and make them pay. If they can't be found, you'll have to pay back the bond yourself. This is where the insurance company steps in to take care of making that payment, protecting you on the rare occasion the client skips bail. Contact a business, such as AA-Craven Bail Bonds, for more information.Share