Bail Enforcement Agents, Bail Recovery Agents and Bounty Hunters:
If you read our newest featured editorial in the Bail Enforcement where PBUS is supporting the Bail Bond Fairness Act currently before the US Senate (S.2495) you will see ANOTHER obtuse attempt by the Professional Bail Agents of the United States to stamp out the private fugitive recovery industry.
S.2495 attempts to shift the liability off of the bail bondsman and onto the defendant in instances where the defendant has not honored the conditions of his or her bond (weekly check in, traveling outside of the state, drinking or using drugs, not meeting their financial obligations to the bonding company, etc.).
PBUS would have you believe that they are just trying to hold the defendant accountable for their actions, when in reality the Bail Bond Fairness Act is a thinly disguised attempt to find another way to alleviate themselves from the liability of a bail bond when the defendant fails to appear.
After all, failure to appear is obviously a violation of the conditions of bail.
What does this mean to the fugitive recovery industry?
IT MEANS A LOT LESS WORK and many of us will be out of business soon. If the bondsman does not have to pay off the bond and it never goes into forfeiture then why would he or she need to hire a recovery agent?
What does this mean to society and the communities in which we live, work and play?
It means that we will be sharing the streets with an increasing number of bail fugitives who will then game the system knowing that they will walk free until an already over-worked and under-funded law enforcement agency stumbles upon the defendant out of pure luck. It will mean that the victims of crime committed by bail fugitives may never get the justice they deserve.
PBUS has consistently and unabashedly worked against our industry:
They supported the “Bounty Hunter Responsibility Act,” which was another obvious attempt by the few members left at PBUS to absolve themselves of the liability of using untrained and unprofessional recovery agents so that they could pay real recovery professionals even less than the current industry standard. When the Bounty Hunter’s Responsibility Act was making the rounds in Federal legislation, it would have required national licensing and training standards (a GREAT thing for the overall health of the recovery industry), they sounded the alarm and really did their best to quash it- despite the fact that it did not have enough momentum to make it anyway. Why did they do that? Hmmm. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to understand that Federal law would have legitimized the bail enforcement profession nationally and the professionals would have been able to charge more money for our services because the “less-than-professionals” would have gone out of business.
If you’d follow their logic PBUS would have you believe that the bail industry would like to use cheap, untrained and unlicensed recovery agents because they would incur no liability for their hunter’s actions.
PBUS has made many attempts to pass state-specific laws making it a legal requirement that local law enforcement respond to every bail bondsman’s call when he or she is requesting assistance in getting a defendant back into custody as well. Read: why pay for recovery agents when you can get a cop to do it for free?
Lastly, let’s not forget that PBUS has supported Duane Chapman and invited him to be a keynote speaker at their national conferences despite the fact that he makes us all look like a bunch of unprofessional lunatics running around in WWE costumes, threatening and swearing at everyone if an over-sized can of pepper spray.
I urge every one of you to read PBUS’ statement and work against them at every turn. Call, email and fax your senators and express your disapproval of the Bail Bond Fairness Act because it will put more fugitives on the street, overtax our law enforcement agencies and undermines the entire commercial bail system in the United States. Remember, they don’t want to hear you whining about losing income- you will have less credibility in making your case. Stick to the facts and emphasize strongly that the Criminal Justice system requires that these defendants have their day in court and that the Bail Bond Fairness Act removes the only incentive the surety has in making sure that the defendant eventually returns to court via the forfeiture of the bail bond.