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The Role of the Bail Recovery Agent

The Role of the Bail Recovery Agent

The bail recovery agent, often known as a “bail bondsman,” is often a critical piece of a bail bond business. In a way, the bail recovery agent is a form of insurance for a business that is actually a part of the insurance industry.

Why is a Bail Recovery Agent Needed?
To answer that question, you must understand the basics of the bail bond business. Many bail bond companies hook up with an insurance company to receive the financial backing that’s essential for the bail bond company to be recognized by various court systems. There are plenty of different systems throughout the country, but courts will often give bail bond companies a certain leeway before demanding that a bond for a defendant who doesn’t show up in court is paid. Bail bondsmen backed by stable insurance companies are embraced by most courts. The bail recovery agent is the insurance used by bail bond companies in the event a defendant decides not to show up for a court hearing. That decision could cost the bail bond company the total amount of the bond. By having a bail recovery agent, the bail bond company is in a position to search for missing defendants to avoid turning over the entire bail in that case to the court.

How Does a Bail Recovery Agent Make Money?
Generally speaking, a bail recovery agent works on a commission basis that’s established each time the agent is asked to return a defendant. The process starts when a defendant comes to a bail bond company for help with bail after an arrest. The company guarantees the defendant’s bond with the court and, in return, takes a normal fee of 10 percent. If the bail is steep, the bail bond company will often hold security, such as the title to a car or home. In a case involving a $50,000 bail, for example, the defendant has paid $5,000 to be granted permission to leave jail until the first court hearing in his or her case. If the defendant doesn’t show up for that hearing, the court then turns to the bail bond company for the entire $50,000.

Does a Bail Recovery Agent Have Arrest Powers?
Yes. All citizens, in fact, can legally make what is called a citizen’s arrest. In the case of a defendant who signed a bail contract agreeing to return, the standard language in the contract gave up some rights. The defendant agreed that he or she could be arrested by a bail recovery agent by not returning to court as promised. A bail recovery agent can legally arrest a defendant anywhere in the country. The defendant is returned, and the bail recovery agent is paid a set fee that generally increases with a higher bond.

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