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Information To Collect From Bail Applicant References

Editor's note: This article was written by industry professional and guest contributor Jason Pollock. The views and opinions in this article are of the author and do not reflect the views of AboutBail. If you are interested in becomeing a guest contributor, send an email to [email protected]


 Information to Collect from a Bail Applicant - Jason PollockAbout the Author: Jason Pollock received his first glimpse into the mysterious world of Fugitive Recovery as an operator in 1999 and he is now the owner and operator of Surety Risk Management, a professional Bail Enforcement and Risk Management Agency based in Los Angeles, California.  Jason has successfully located and apprehended approximately 1,700 “wayward bail clients” during his career as an operator, all with zero post-operation residual liability.  He is the former owner of a bail bond company that never paid a single summary judgment to any court and he is currently working on his first book, a project that is now more then ten years in the making.  Jason may be contacted at [email protected]


info bail applicant referencesCollect as much information as you can, concerning a bail applicant’s references. It is important to establish any and all relationships based upon a foundation of honesty. Collecting and corroborating applicant reference information can help you establish this baseline. 

In this article, you will be shown how to collect, investigate and analyze certain pieces of information in an effort to verify that certain statements that your applicant made to you or your agent(s) are indeed true, or to determine that your applicant has intentionally lied to you.

If you wisely choose to be thorough when collecting information on applicant references, collect all of the following information on each reference listed:

  1. Full Name (That means get the middle name too) and any and all aliases that your applicant uses.  
    Getting the full name of any individual will greatly aid in a side tracking investigation. It helps the investigator narrow down his list of possible hits while investigating leads, especially when the investigator is running intelligence through an information broker. This is extremely important when dealing with people who have common names. Sometimes you will be dealing with individuals who don’t go by their true, given names, and many individuals only respond to their nicknames. Some of these individuals will automatically respond to their true, given names in a negative fashion, because they never use their true, given names, and many individuals intentionally use nicknames as an early warning system to alert them that an authority figure is on to them.

    *If the applicant provides you with an alias or a nickname, use that name when you address them. If you do so, your applicants might feel much more comfortable when dealing with you.

  2. Date of Birth (DOB)
    A person’s date of birth is an identifier that can help you separate them from other people who have the same name. In short, the DOB can help you narrow your search.

  3. The Applicant’s Relationship to each Reference
    (This reference is the applicant’s________:
    - father/mother
    - brother/sister
    - spouse
    - baby’s daddy/mama
    - girlfriend/boyfriend
    - ex
    - cousin/aunt/uncle/grandmother/grandfather on father’s/mother’s side of the family
    - best friend
    - next-door neighbor
    It pays huge dividends in the intelligence department to know exactly who and what you are dealing with. If you don’t get the applicant’s exact relationship to the references, you’re really not going to know who you are calling, side tracking or dealing with in person. You will also probably be clueless as to whether or not you are being side-tracked in dealing with that person.

  4. Complete Address (including building numbers, apartment numbers and security access codes to gated communities)  
    Have you ever been on a hunt where you arrive at the address listed on the application for bail, only to find out that the address that was given to you that appeared to be a house, in all actuality, is an apartment in an extremely large complex? That’s not exactly fun. What could possibly make this experience more enjoyable? When you have to deal with a hostile apartment manager in an effort to determine the building and apartment number of where you believe that your wayward bail client is possibly hiding. You should get that specific information while you are working on the bond. That way, if your client decides against upholding his/her end of your contractual agreement, then you won’t have to go hunting for the missing information later on down the road.

  5. Telephone Numbers with Area Codes (also list if the numbers provided are for a landline, cell phone or V.O.I.P. (Voice Over Internet Protocol)
    Telephone numbers have always been one of my most important tools in locating wayward bail clients. They can be run through an information broker’s computer database or passed off to an information provider and turned into a name and an address. If it’s a landline, it is a little bit less expensive to have that information run and researched and the results will come back to a physical address where that phone actually rings. You may even be provided with a list of names of other people who currently reside at that location. Running cell phones is a little bit more tricky, thus a little bit more expensive, because not all cell phones are listed in your information broker’s computer databases. V.O.I.P. phones are a little bit more tricky than landlines, but not quite as tricky as cell phones, as far as information providers go, but you can still obtain the customer’s name and address through your information provider.

  6. Email Address
    This can be a handy piece of information to have when conducting side tracking investigations, social networking investigations or preparing honey trap stings.  
    If you have ever dabbled with searches on www.spokeo.com or www.pipl.com then you know just how simple it is to glean information about an individual’s social networking website accounts just by running their email address through that specific search engine. You can find a lot of information about your subject just by researching which social networking websites have accounts linked to a specific email address. This doesn’t take days or weeks to research, either; it only takes a few seconds to run a search.

It would be wise to collect this information from every single legal adult (18 years of age and older) who lives in the same household as your applicant. The rent, utilities, phone bills, vehicle registrations and other items that are common to a normal household might not be listed in your client’s name; however, these items may be listed under the name of one of the adults that the client is living with. This is not uncommon, so prepare yourself ahead of time and develop your own intelligent countermeasures in case the client skips. The easier that you make this for yourself, the better off that you are going to be. With a bit of due diligence, resilience and tenacity, commercial bonding risk assessment and forfeiture liability management should be a snap.

If the applicant cannot provide you with a complete address and a phone number for a specific reference, then that person does not qualify as being a reference, so get more references.  Don’t take any information provided by an applicant at face value; check every piece of information that your applicant’s provide and verify everything. If something doesn't check out, it might just be a simple fluke or it could be an indicator of where the defendant intends on hiding, in the event of a failure to appear, so try to expand on that erroneous or missing information.

This information, combined with the following methods of intelligence collection, investigation and analyzation can greatly aid you in your bond approval and underwriting efforts. These same approaches can also be of great assistance to an investigator who is conducting side tracking investigations, should things go south.

  • Why should you collect, investigate and analyze this information?  
    Real bounty hunting begins when an applicant approaches you in an effort to win your confidence to execute a bond on his/her behalf. If you have not collected this information, and the defendant decides to avoid filling out the required paperwork, what information will you have to begin an investigation in an effort to locate, apprehend and surrender the defendant?  It is your responsibility, as the executing agent, to perform all of your due diligence tasks in an efficient, professional manner.  This is important, because if you execute your tasks properly, it will serve to greatly reduce most unwanted liabilities, losses and work related stresses, thus greatly increasing your profits and your peace of mind.

  • How should you collect, investigate and analyze this information?  
    Write down or type up all of the information that you collect from an applicant on to a professionally designed worksheet.

  • When should you collect, investigate and analyze this information?  
    When the bail agent is working on and negotiating all of the specific terms and conditions of the bond and any and all other terms and conditions that the executing agency expects the applicant to meet.

  • How will collecting, investigating and analyzing this information prevent your clients from jumping bail?  
    This almost sounds like a trick question. Basically, performing all of your due diligence tasks will take a lot of the guesswork out of successfully working and negotiating your bonds.  It will give you a clearer picture of exactly who and what you are dealing with.

Any successful investigator can honestly tell you that when you are working on a missing (intentional or unintentional) person assignment, it is extremely important to communicate with people who intimately know the subject of your investigation.  This is because people who intimately know your subject may possess certain specific details, that you might not be privileged to, regarding your subject and his or her current location. Put quite frankly, if you don’t know certain, intimate details about your subject, then you will have to ask somebody who does.

Always remember that collected intelligence is only as good as its source and that it will not do you a bit of good to collect intelligence without investigating and analyzing it.  Be extremely diligent in all of your efforts.

It might behoove commercial bonding agency owners and managers to create specific scenarios in an effort to enlighten and train their subordinates about the different, effective approaches that can be used to show their employees how to collect, investigate and analyze intelligence and also how to specifically utilize proven methods to detect deception.

Additional articles on bail applicants

Stay tuned for more tips on how you can prevent clients from jumping bail.

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This article was written by an industry guest contributor. If you are interested in being a guest contributor or have an article suggestion, please send an email to [email protected]


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