Public Chapter 245
SENATE BILL NO. 13
Substituted for: House Bill No. 1661
AN ACT To amend Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 40, Chapter 11, relative to bail bonds.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF TENNESSEE:
SECTION 1. Tennessee Code Annotated, Title 40, Chapter 11, is amended by adding the following language as a new, appropriately designated section:
Section __. Any person utilizing the services of a professional bail bondsman or bonding agent shall receive a copy of the following notice with the person's bail bond. No changes may be made in the substance of the notice; but minor printing adjustments may be made. The notice may be printed on the face, back or as a separate attachment to the bond.
IF YOU USE A PROFESSIONAL BONDSMAN:
Amount of charges to you. The premium fee for your bond should not be more than ten percent (10%) of the face amount of your bond. For example, if your bond is $2,500, the premium on the bond should not be more than $250. In addition to this amount, the law also permits a one-time $25 initiation fee, (T.C.A., § 40-11-316).
Insist on a receipt. The law, (T.C.A., § 40-11-304), requires a bail bondsman to keep a duplicate receipt. The receipt must show the name of the person paying money or pledging property, the name of the person for whom it was paid, the account or purpose for which it is received, and the suit, action or matter in which the money is paid.
Collateral that can be required. If a bondsman insists on collateral in addition to the ten percent (10%) premium fee, you may wish to talk to another bondsman. However, a bondsman may accept collateral, and if the bondsman accepts collateral, the bondsman must give you a written receipt for the collateral, and the receipt shall give in detail a full description of the collateral received and the terms of redemption as required by T.C.A., § 40-11-126(8).
A BONDSMAN MAY NOT LOCK YOU BACK UP OR SURRENDER YOU ARBITRARILY OR WITHOUT GOOD CAUSE. GOOD CAUSE MAY INCLUDE YOUR FAILURE TO PERFORM YOUR OBLIGATIONS UNDER THE CONTRACT YOU HAVE WITH YOUR BONDSMAN (T.C.A. § 40-11-126(7) & § 40-11-132).
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect on July 1, 1997, the public welfare requiring it.