Thursday, May 9, 2013

Bail Bonds Are Insurance Too

This is a bit off topic, but let's set the record straight. I feel it is important to remind people that bail bonds are insurance too and bail bondsmen are really insurance agents. So often I hear people refer to bail bondsmen as law enforcement officials, when they are not. In fact, bail bonds are administered & regulated at the state level in most parts of the country.

Typically each state's department of insurance oversees the bail bonds industry within its borders. Bail bondsmen are usually licensed through their state's department of insurance. Meaning the department administers tests, collects fees and enforces regulatory actions.

Why are bail bonds under the department of insurance umbrella? Well, the reason are a specific type of surety bond. Surety bonds, are an insurance. When a bail bondsman posts bail to the court in order to gain the release of a prisoner, they are ensuring that person will appear in court as ordered. As collateral, the bail bondsman posts a surety bond to the court. This is essentially a promise to the court that that they will pay a fee if the prisoner doesn't appear. That financial promise, is in the form of a bond......which is basically insurance.

So, your local bail bondsman is in fact the same as your local insurance agent. The only difference is that he can drop you back in jail if you don't live up to your end of the bargain. Imagine if your local life insurance salesman could do the same. Our jails would fuller than ever!

Friday, August 12, 2011

San Jose City Council Ponders Bail Bonds Agencies Restrictions

On Tuesday, August 23rd, San Jose‘s City Council is set to vote on new regulations controlling the location and hours of bail bonds businesses. The contemplated city ordinance would install a set of highly restrictive and deliberate regulations governing where and how San Jose bail bonds agencies can establish a business location.

The newly proposed bail bonds ordinance will force new bail bonds agencies to locate no more than 200 to 300 feet from schools, parks, homes and other bail agencies. Furthermore, bail agencies would not be allowed to occupy ground floor, retail space around or in the jail area. A city conditional permit must be obtained by any bail bond agency operating in the jail area between 12 a.m. and 6 am. No permit is necessary during those hours in other areas of the city if the agency isn’t receiving customers in person.

As one might expect, area bail bondsmen are dissapointed with the possibility of these new rules? They feel it is an assault on the citizens’ constitutional rights to obtain bail as protected in the 8th amendment. They are concerned the regulations will make it difficult for jailed citizens receive bail at a reasonable price and hour. C. Jeffrey Stanley, founder of Bad Boys Bail Bonds, argues that any major city has bail bonds agencies near the jail. He says “If you don’t want a bail agency, don’t move a block away from the jail.” Residents who live near the main county jail say “All of a sudden bailbonds agencies started popping up everywhere. Now there is nothing but bail agencies!” The proposed regulations are supposed to address a number of area residents' concerns such as: the concentration of bail agencies along N. 1st Street and their late night operations. Neighbors feel these are a nuisance and lessen their property values by changing the fabric of their community.

Councilman Sam Liccardo, who represents the area, along with other council members agree. City officials believe the proposed regulations are reasonable and “meet a reasonable balance between expectations of the industry and the needs of the community.” Officials also noted that other big cities require permits for late night operation. However, the conditional use permit is just one of the many restrictions contemplated by the ordinance.

Santa Clara County Supervisor George Shirakawa Jr, believes the proposed rules are out of line. He says the use permit requirements would add costs that would be passed along to people needing bail and that these costs would make it harder for folks who are already facing financial hardships. Critics of the proposed rules also feel that Bondsmen are being unfairly blamed. They state that bail customers are usually the responsible friends and relatives of an accused criminal and note that late night riff raff comes from the light rail not the bail bond customers.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Pre Trial Release Program At Odds With Florida Bail Bondsmen

The pretrial services debtate is not new, but it is heating up in Volusia County, Florida. Over the last year, more than 5,000 people have been released through the county's pre trial services program.

These are of course people that have been accused of minor crimes and are not thought to be a threat to the community.

On one side of the debate, bail bondsmen and sympathetic politicians. Proposed legislation that would have made deep cuts to the programs narrowly failed in the last legislative session.

On the other side of the argument are the Volusia County leaders that believe the program saves money by reducing over crowding. They consequently want to keep the pre trial services intact.

Volusia's program costs the taxpayers about $1.3 million annually. If the program were eliminated, it is estimated that one in four people who currently participate in pretrial release prgroams wouldn't be able to afford bail.

The bills that surfaced last year in the Senate and House would restrict pre trial release program participants to those that are poor. However, some analysts say keeping more people out of the pre trial release program would actually cost the taxpayers $2.7 million. The reason being that those not eligible would remain in jail and force the government to pay for them.

This debate is not likely to be over anytime soon. However, counties and states across the country keep a watchful eye over pre trial release programs in other jurisdictions for affirmations of their decisions one way or another.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Bail Bondsman Turns Himself In After Credit Card Related Arrest

An Ocala area bail bondsman turned himself into law enforcement authorities Monday night after an arrest warrant was issued for him. He was charged with unlawful use of a credit card, stemming from the fraudulent use of a Staples credit card.

Ocala police Detective Steve Thibodeau said surveillance video showed Robert D. Fox, 38, owner of Foxy’s Bail Bonds, fraudulently using a Staples credit card. Records show the ill gotten merchandise was sent to 2931 NW Eighth Place, which is the home of Foxy Bail Bonds.

After surrendering to Levy County authorities, Robert Fox posted his own $1,000 bail and was released.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Bail Bonds Legend Dies at 86

The “Little Mayor of South Main Street” may be gone, but he isn’t forgotten.

John D. “Jack” Smith Sr., a lifelong Wilkes-Barre resident, former local bail bondsman and welterweight boxing fighter, passed away Wednesday in Wilkes-Barre. He was 86 years old.

Jack, as people referred to him, was known for his well-rounded demeanor, being able to dine with the most respectable politicians while still bringing in culprits that skipped out on their bail.

“He had a table at the Woodlands every Friday night,” said Mary Lynn Smith of Fredericksburg, Md., one of Smith’s daughters. “He would eat dinner with officials, but if an average Joe needed something -- and Dad thought they were sincere -- he’d have no trouble giving it to them.”

Click on link to read full article at: The Times Leader

Monday, January 3, 2011

Payless Bail Bonds Does Good Deed Over Holidays

Far too often, the good deeds of many go unnoticed and unreported. This past year has been especially difficult for many families around the country struggling with the difficult realities of the recession. Unfortunately, at Christmas time, that often equates to kids going without presents and families struggling to do the things others take for granted.

Payless Bail Bonds, of Las Vegas Nevada, decided to improve the holiday season for many local kids and families. Having a Christmas without presents for kids is a pretty bleak position to be in as a parent. It is a relief, when someone can step in and help fill that need. Payless Bail Bonds did just that on Dec. 11th with their "Christmas on Wheels" charity.

They asked local charities such as the Salvation Army, Family Promise, Women's Resource Center and the Jewish Resource Center for names of children that could really use some holiday cheer and extra help in the Christmas present department. Payless Bail Bonds donated 50 bicycles and presented the deserving children with their early Christmas presents on Dec. 11th at the Italian American Club in Las Vegas. The Italian American Club provided much needed snacks and facilities for the event.

Not being able to provide a holiday present for your child is a gut wrenching feeling and Payless helped deliver some much needed holiday joy to families that really benefitted from the help. It is great to see the bail bonds community giving back to the less fortunate. For more information, please visit:

Friday, September 24, 2010

New York Bail Bonds Company Owner Sentenced

Earlier this week, New York bail bondsman George Zouvelos, pleaded guilty and was sentenced on weapons charges. The owner of Spartan Bail Bonds agency he received 10 days of community services after being arrested in connection with a fight outside one of his offices.

The scuffle allegedly involved Mr. Zouvelos hitting a victim in the head with a handgun. Furthermore, the bail bondsman was said to not be licensed to have the gun.

After initially facing multiple counts including assault and other charges, he was allowed to plead down to obstruction of government administration and 4th degree weapons possession of an unloaded shotgun.

After reviewing the case both the presiding judge and District Attorney agreed to the misdemeanor plea. With the misdemeanor plea preserved his .

As a misdemeanor offender, Zouvelos whose bail bonds agency has multiple locations in New York will be allowed to continue operating as a bail bondsman in the Empire State.