The term ‘bounty hunters’ were popular during the wild west days in America and their job was to bring a defendant ‘dead or alive’. A bail bondsman is someone who writes a bail bond on behalf of a defendant. When the defendant does not turn up for the court hearing, the bondsman should locate the defendant or end up paying the bond amount to the court. This is when a bounty hunter is asked for and his job is to find the defendant and bring him back.
A bail bondsman writes a bond for a defendant who has been charged of a criminal activity and they are allowed to leave the jail until the hearing. The bail amount is usually set by the court depending on the seriousness of the crime and the background of the defendant.
The bail bondsman acts like as an insurance company who assures the court that the defendant will turn up for the trial. Therefore, the bail bondsman is provided with powers of bail worth thousands of dollars and the number of bonds he has written. When the suspect fails to show up, the bondsman soon or later will have to pay the bail amount to the court. This can vary from one month to 2 years as per the rules of the state. If the agent does not bring the suspect, the bail company not only incurs a financial loss, but does not look good before the court. It is up to the bondsman to find the defendant, apprehend him and present before the court.
Usually, the bondsman hopes that the police will nab the suspect. But when the date for returning the defendant comes closer, the bondsman hires a bounty hunter. The bond agent should maintain a buildup fund in case the defendant skips the bond. The buildup fund will help to pay the bond amount. The company will provide a certain amount of bail power till the build up fund reaches a definite amount.
Calling a bounty hunter means that the bail bondsman is already in a losing position. The bondsman has to not only pay the finder’s fee, he needs to look good in front of the court and does not want to come with too many failures. One also need to worry about the bounty hunter’s fees. For instance, a bounty hunter could charge $10,000 for a $50,000 bond. And when the bail amount is too much, this could put the bondsman out of business.
Based on the above-mentioned reasons, the bail bondsman can lose money on bonds.