Jeff Downer The commercial (surety) bail bond industry in Indiana is heavily regulated. This regulation extends into how a bail bondsman may accept payment for his services. This payment is called premium and is defined by Indiana Code as follows:
Sec. 8. “Premium” means:
(1) currency issued by the United States of America paid to a bail agent prior to the execution of a bail bond;
(2) a check delivered to a bail agent prior to the execution of the bail bond that must be:
(A) properly payable when delivered; and
(B) deposited in the bail agent’s bank account; or
(3) a credit card transaction if the bail agent:
(A) accepts the credit card; and
(i) authorization from the credit card issuer for the amount due; and
(ii) an approval number from the credit card issuer for the credit card transaction;
before the execution of the bail bond.
As added by P.L.261-1985, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.224-1993, SEC.3; P.L.348-1995, SEC.1.
Accepting payment in any other manner is considered to be failure to collect full premium and is considered a felony per Indiana Code:
Failure of bail agent to collect full premium
Sec. 5. A bail agent who knowingly or intentionally executes a bail bond without collecting in full a premium for the bail bond, at the premium rate as filed with and approved by the commissioner, commits a Class D felony.
As added by P.L.261-1985, SEC.1. Amended by P.L.224-1993, SEC.29.
Ouch! So the method of paying premium is strictly limited. A bail agent may accept cash, debit card, credit card or a check. The full ten percent of the bond amount set by the court must be paid. The agent may not accept things like cars, boats or other types of property as premium payment.
The complete section of the Indiana Code governing commercial bail bonds may be found here.