I've worked in a 9 to 5 sales role within the finance industry since 1995. In 2007 I became a licensed bail bondsman to help out a friend. He couldn't write bail for reasons I was unclear about at the time but now emit red flags. He continued to be properly licensed but could not be a producer. However, a fellow producer could write those bails and collect a very small percentage from him.
I entered into an agreement to become a producer for one of the larger insurance surety's. To do this they asked me for a 'laydown' or deposit to put in an account designated as a "build up fund" which was positioned as a “retirement” fund for agents. The deposit was funded by my friend and it was communicated to the account manager for the surety that almost all business
being generated from the agency was done by my friend and not myself. So if someone calls my friend and wants to get bailed out, my friend would call me, I would go to him then go to the jail to process the paperwork and was given a small percent of the transaction for my trouble. This was the model that was accepted by the surety.
In 2009 I decided to scale back activity with writing bail. It was never a primary means for me to generate revenue because I had worked in an office job throughout in another industry. And after having my first baby, I simply had no time to run out of the house at odd hours to help a friend.
Soon thereafter, my friend convince me to approve a subagent who could write under my agency. I didn’t see the issue with it until I realized that they were writing bails without any type of risk controls. They accepted almost every bail that came through their door. I because suspicious after seeing that there were many more forfeiture letters being delivered and that’s when I ordered to cancel the subagent agreement. Within that same time frame I ordered the surety to send the powers and all literature and mail directly to me and not to my friend’s bail bond street address. They did not comply and bail was written on powers that were distributed without my knowledge. Today, a loss control manager at the surety is pressuring me to continue working to clear up the mess that was caused even though they canceled my appointment with them as an agent in 2011.
As an agent I was never given any training nor were we given proper guidance in terms of building a sustainable business. Even now, when I was asked to pursue or have someone take pictures of a fugitive hiding out in the Dominican Republic, I said that I would need to reach out to a third party, then dip into the build up fund to pay for that service, they did not allow that. Now, they sent me an email saying that it was done but it cost 6x more to do it than what I priced it out for.
What options do I have and how can I connect with an experienced attorney that knows this industry in case I need representation? The loss control manager at the surety has warned me that if don’t respond to him soon that he will turn this over to their legal team. I have about 35 bails outstanding , 500k in liability according to their records. Hope someone can steer me in the right direction.