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Starting a bail bondsman business is a very attractive venture especially if you understand the growth potential. There are no businesses in the industry that have captured a majority of the market share which means that it is still up for grabs. Regardless of the slow growth in the industry, it is a guaranteed revenue builder if done right. Since you already know how to begin in the bail bondsman industry let’s go over how you can start to make money with it.
Avenues to Earn Money in Bail Bonds
1. Taking money off the top
This is the main form of revenue for existing bail bond businesses. For every transaction that is made, an added cost is added. Usually, the cost is calculated based on a percentage of the initial charge and is often around 10-15%. But this may change depending on the initial amount and level of risk that you take on.
2. Income from repossession
Now, if the defendant does not show up on their appointed court date the bail bondsman still has to pay the full bond to the court. In order to recoup some of these lost funds, the bondsman business should have an agreement in place which outlines collateral. This way if the defendant does not show up in court, the collateral is now yours. This may be cash, physical property, or vehicles.
With this extra surety set up, you can legally take control of the item or property and keep, sell, or exchange it. This can be a big income generator for a bail bondsman. Just be sure that the possessed item(s) first covers the cost of the bond that you have paid out of pocket, this way you will be operating at a profit rather than a loss.
Make sure you are protected
As a successful bondsman, you need to make sure that you fulfill all legal requirements and ensure that there are strong binding agreements set before you take on customers. That way you have more security if the defendant decides not to show up on the court date. As a bail bondsman, you will not be successful or make money if you do not have these agreements in place and agreed upon.
Along with that, meeting with the client is a good way to keep them accountable. You can keep track of where they are and how they are doing while they wait for a court date. In some higher risk cases, this can be weekly but otherwise, it may be monthly.
If the defendant does not check in with the bondsman at the appointed time, it is an advisable time to seek help from the defendant’s family and friends. This helps prevent last-minute surprises before or on the court date. The most successful bail bondsman businesses know that each defendant is different and the intervals for check-ins will need adjustments case to case.
Being a successful and profitable bondsman, you also know that there will be other professionals that you will need to work with on occasion. Bounty hunters and bail recovery agents are common in the industry just in case something goes wrong. Working with a good team of professionals ensures that you remain successful even if a defendant decides to go missing.
Bail Bonds Businesses & Accepting Payments
This is not so much about making money, but more about opening up your availability to it. If you have customers that don’t have large sums of cash on hand, you can equip yourself with a point of sale devices that support card transactions. This way you accept more client types and don’t need to turn them away if they are unable to pay with cash.
Debit and credit card transactions are (and have been) the main avenue to pay for most Americans for the last decade or so. But imagine what a difference it would make for starting a bail bondsman business to go from taking cash only to accepting cards. It could potentially double or triple your income.
So in order to further your money making opportunities, it would benefit you to secure a payment processor for bail bonds. With the right merchant services, you can set up a wireless POS system that accepts all card types. If your clients prefer to pay online, you can send them a link to your online payment gateway. Or if you need to take a card over the phone, a virtual credit card terminal is the way to go.
High Risk Bail Bondsman Merchant Account
Finding a merchant services provider to support your account may be tough to find. The reason for this stems from 2 main drawbacks of the bail bonds industry:
- Reputational Risk
- Chargebacks and Merchant Services Fraud
In order to get a bank to support your credit card processing, they need to fully support your business type. But unfortunately for bail bonds, many banks don’t. That is why you will need to find a high risk payment processor that understands your business and has ways to reduce your risk factors.
Having the right merchant account and supporting bank for your high risk bail bondsman business is imperative. High risk merchant account providers can help your company process payments securely and quickly. And with a bit of research you can get your bail bondsman business started and making money.