How are you safeguarding your business in 2024?

How are you safeguarding your business in 2024?

Every bail agent knows that each time you sign your name on a power or use a seal, you are promising to use your money if someone you usually do not know doesn’t follow through with their court obligation. You don’t have to be a professional gambler to see that’s a huge risk. No matter how sure of a thing the bond may seem, every bond should be considered a bad bond until it’s closed. The liability can sit on your books for weeks, months and often times years. Many agents have found themselves waiting for one or two cases to close years after they have closed their businesses with hopes to request their BUF funds back. 

From the moment you sign the defendant out of jail you should already be thinking of a game plan of how you will protect your investment. Collecting premium in full is ideal; however, what if the bond requires a payment plan? How will you ensure that you can collect every single payment on time? Do you send out reminder texts or email invoices? Keeping in contact is key as often times defendants don’t pay attention to those seven (7) reasons when being released. Many agencies have a secretary or office person who will stay on top of payments for all agents, while other smaller agencies will have the individual agent oversee their own. Either way, making sure the defendant is being held responsible for the monetary agreement is key. 

There are remedies available should you have any issues in collecting. If the case is still pending for example, you are free to surrender the defendant pre-breach to the county where the case is pending or the county he or she was bonded from. If the case is disposed of, you have the right to sue civilly and seek a judgment on the defendant. 

Even with suing you need to evaluate your risk. Weigh your options. Does the defendant have the money and just choosing not to pay you? What do they really have to lose by not paying you? The defendant may hold a license that requires no judgments, they may be in the process of buying or selling property or already own property. Either way, the judge will usually order you, the plaintiff back the court costs paid so in the event they pay the judgment you aren’t really lose anything but time. Once your judgment is granted, be vigilant and follow up. Consult with your local clerk and sheriffs department and begin the process to execute as soon as you can. 

We work hard and for many of us this is our livelihood. We are not in business to lose money by any means and we owe it to our future growth to secure our income by any means necessary. 

Thank you,

Regina Manzanares