When you are in need of a bail bondsman, it is easy to just go with the first agency you can find because all you are thinking about is getting your loved one out and released as soon as possible. Unfortunately, not all bail bond agencies are created equal and some may have unscrupulous intentions. The good news is, however, that it is pretty easy to tell the good from the bad. Here are the things to ask when looking for a reputable bail bondsman.
Are they licensed?
Bail bond agencies must be licensed in the state they operate in to be legally compliant to state laws. This means that if any bail bondsman you are interacting with is giving off a strange feeling, the first thing you can do is simply ask to see their license. Any legitimate bail bondsman will have no issue showing this, so when there is any type of pushback, that would be a definite red flag.
What are their hours?
Is the bail bondsman you are working with have 24/7 availability? This is the norm in the industry so that the bail bondsman is able to work as soon as possible to get the loved one out quickly. If the agent is only keeping normal business hours and no weekends, then at the very least, they are not working as urgently or efficiently for you as a client.
Did they solicit?
Were you near the jail and did anyone come up to you offering to work as a bail bondsman? If so, run the other way! There should be no circumstances in which bail legitimate bail bondsman will lurk around jails to offer their services. These are most likely scammers who will do nothing but sadly take your money. We know it’s an urgent situation, but get home first and make a game plan quickly so that you can feel at ease that you aren’t being taken advantage of.
What are their reviews?
Just as with any business, reviews are an amazing way to get insight into how a business is run and what is the overall satisfaction rate of the customers who have used their services. It’s not to say that a new agency with little to no reviews is not real but customers often feel more at ease when there is information out there from third parties to let them know that they are fair and safe. At the very least, try and find an agency that has the opportunity to leave reviews and a somewhat updated social media presence.
How much do they charge?
All agencies must follow percentages mandated by the state in which they operate. This means that if the state sets a 10% charge fee then no agency can go above or below that percentage by more than a couple of points and still be considered as operating legally. So if a bail bondsman says they can offer you a discount or even worse try to charge you something like 30% of the bond cost then they are not to be trusted.
To sum up, there are plenty of good and honest bail bond agencies out there and with just a bit of knowledge and awareness, you can easily protect yourself from the few that are not so forthcoming with their intentions. And if you are in the Mobile area and are looking for a legitimate company that will go above and beyond for your loved one, feel free to get in contact!