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Part Time Bail Bondsman

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raritee

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Sep 28, 2017
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It would cost me $2,000 to become a licensed Bail Bondsman. I would have to put up $200,000 in collateral as Real Estate or cash. Basically, people would be calling. I promise to pay the bond amount if the person flees justice. Someone pays me 10% of what I promise. It seems easy in theory. What do you think?
 

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Michael Burgess

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What do you mean "Someone pays me 10% of what I promise"? What kind of return do you actually get on the money you're staking?

How do you perform due diligence on your potentially criminal clients? Credit checks? Occupational history? Real estate ownership? Social media?

How do you get people to call? Set up a website, throw some money at google PPC, and pray?

Do you have lots of capital to throw at the idea? Do you have any experience in related industries like law enforcement, prisons, banking?

These are just some of the questions I'd be wondering. I don't know anything about this idea, but I do know that lots of things that seem "easy in theory" aren't half as simple as they appear.
 

Raoul Duke

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It would cost me $2,000 to become a licensed Bail Bondsman. I would have to put up $200,000 in collateral as Real Estate or cash. Basically, people would be calling. I promise to pay the bond amount if the person flees justice. Someone pays me 10% of what I promise. It seems easy in theory. What do you think?
 

Rabby

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Why does it cost $2,000 to get your bail bond license? Are the licensing classes really expensive in your state? I'm guessing it's because of the private security licensing that's required? Like an armed security guard class.

You're missing an important concept in my opinion. I will describe it below.

As a bail bondsman, you are normally an agent for a surety who guarantees the bail. You're not the surety yourself. In Virginia, for whatever reason, the Wild West model is still in place and you can make the guarantee yourself, and chase people around with guns until one of them fights back. (Well, this is how I understand it, but IANAE on Virginia criminal justice system.) Unless you're out for adventure, I'm not sure I would recommend this route.

The simpler thing is to be licensed for bail bonds and appointed by a surety company. Then you are collecting bail bond premiums on behalf of a company that guarantees payment. Your assets are not at risk in this case, just your relationship with the surety. You can maintain that by writing bonds for good risks, and avoiding bad risks when possible.

Hope that helps. Look into it. If it were me, I would talk to some people in the bail industry and see how they're doing. It might be great, or they might all be broke, and it's worth finding out. Even if you decide to go with the idea, it will be good to know why other bail agencies / cowboys do well or do poorly. Then you can make a plan to execute better.
 
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R

raritee

New Contributor
Sep 28, 2017
16
5
12
52
VIRGINIA
What do you mean "Someone pays me 10% of what I promise"? What kind of return do you actually get on the money you're staking?

How do you perform due diligence on your potentially criminal clients? Credit checks? Occupational history? Real estate ownership? Social media?

How do you get people to call? Set up a website, throw some money at google PPC, and pray?

Do you have lots of capital to throw at the idea? Do you have any experience in related industries like law enforcement, prisons, banking?

These are just some of the questions I'd be wondering. I don't know anything about this idea, but I do know that lots of things that seem "easy in theory" aren't half as simple as they appear.
Someone gets arrested and is granted a bond. They can not make it for financial reasons. The arrested person, a relative or a friend calls me. It is advertised with business cards left at the jail, phone book, neon signs, word of mouth, etc...

The person has a couple of options to pay me. Generally, they pay a premium on the bond amount of 10%. I never have to pay money unless someone flees justice. I just promise to pay it with paperwork in the event of flight. Even then I have the opportunity to find the person by tracking them down. I would make phone calls. As a last resort, I hire a bounty hunter.

How much money a person makes is dependant on how many bonds are issued, minus forfeitures and expenses. Expenses on the low end would be gas and business cards. Money would need to on hand to pay for forfeitures.

In some cases, they put up collateral. The collateral must be 150%. I'm not sure how that works.

The start up costs is the cost of taking a class and some license fees. It totals $1,600. I rounded to $2,000.

Due diligence is fairly minimal. It is things such as ties to the community, employment, criminal history, modes of contact, taking a picture, credit check, etc...

I am basically semi retired at 51. I am considering this instead of working at McDonalds or Walmart.

I used to be a Probation Officer. My education was a CPA. I could do taxes but I was never impressive as a CPA. As a Bails Bondsman, I would be filling out some paperwork and keeping tabs on people. I would make a couple hundred dollars at a time.

My main concerns is that I want to travel twice a year. I've got a couple of other things I enjoy. I also don't want criminals coming to my house on a whim. I also don't like the idea of driving them around when needed. The court supoenas Bondsmen all of the time. What if I am out of the country and they can't serve a supoena on me? It might be better than getting minimum wage part-time job though. I need extra money to ease up my budget.

To do it right is involved. To get started appears simple. It is $1,600 and business cards. I can walk away from $1,600 easy.
 
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raritee

New Contributor
Sep 28, 2017
16
5
12
52
VIRGINIA
Why does it cost $2,000 to get your bail bond license? Are the licensing classes really expensive in your state? I'm guessing it's because of the private security licensing that's required? Like an armed security guard class.

You're missing an important concept in my opinion. I will describe it below.

As a bail bondsman, you are normally an agent for a surety who guarantees the bail. You're not the surety yourself. In Virginia, for whatever reason, the Wild West model is still in place and you can make the guarantee yourself, and chase people around with guns until one of them fights back. (Well, this is how I understand it, but IANAE on Virginia criminal justice system.) Unless you're out for adventure, I'm not sure I would recommend this route.

The simpler thing is to be licensed for bail bonds and appointed by a surety company. Then you are collecting bail bond premiums on behalf of a company that guarantees payment. Your assets are not at risk in this case, just your relationship with the surety. You can maintain that by writing bonds for good risks, and avoiding bad risks when possible.

Hope that helps. Look into it. If it were me, I would talk to some people in the bail industry and see how they're doing. It might be great, or they might all be broke, and it's worth finding out. Even if you decide to go with the idea, it will be good to know why other bail agencies / cowboys do well or do poorly. Then you can make a plan to execute better.
The class is $400 to $500. Part of the license fee is $900. There is an additional fee of $300 and who knows what else.

Virginia has two types of bondsman. One operates though an insurance company that has certain mandates and restrictions. The other is called a property bondsman. Operating through an insurance company requires being licensed as a securities salesman.

I can't really argue definitively which is the better route. My guess is the property bondsman is better. It is less of a job. It is more self employment and managing ones personal finances through risk.
 

minivanman

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Mar 16, 2017
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So you are semi-retired and want to travel a few times a year.... but want to own some type of business. Look in to being a pilot car driver. You own the business. You work when you want. You make decent money for what it is.

It's on my back burner to start a business like this and hire people to do it. But you don't HAVE to have workers. Depending, you might need 1 person since some days you will need a front and back car but other days you can be both.

For those wondering what a pilot car is.... sometimes big trucks need cars to go on front of them for height checks, the car driver makes the legal route for the truck to follow and sometimes the truck needs a follow car..... wide loads/high loads/etc.
 

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