A special task force calls for an overhaul of Missouri’s bail bond industry. The committee, created by the legislature last year, is asking this year’s legislature to make several changes that it thinks will add integrity to the industry.

Bail bondsmen are regulated by the Insurance Department. Spokesman Travis Ford says issues arise when defendants don’t show up after a bonding agent has put up money to promise they would. “That person is authorized to… track down that defendant. So we need to make sure the people in that industry have a high level of professionalism and are able to pay those bonds when they promise to pay them.,” he says.

The committee makes 15 recommendations, in all. Among the recommendations: no felon should ever be licensed to be a bonding agent; all agents must be up to date with their income tax payments, the Department of Insurance should have more financial oversight of agents, and fines and penalties should be strengthened against agents that violate the laws.

Listen to Bob Priddy’s interview with Travis Ford. 7:06 mp3  bailbond