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The nation's criminal justice system has many people working not only directly within it but also in professions associated with that system. Bail bondsmen, for instance, rely on the criminal justice system to deliver them customers in the form of men and women needing bail money after being arraigned on criminal charges. Bail bondsmen, though, don't post bond on behalf of clients for free. Rather, bail bondsmen earn their income from the bond posting fees they charge to clients.Bail bondsmen run companies designed to generate income from fees charged for posting bond on behalf of clients. In other words, a bail bondsman will pay your bond on your behalf to the criminal court that set your bail amount. By paying a bond on your behalf, the bail bondsman is guaranteeing that you'll show up in criminal court as directed. However, before your bail bondsman posts your bond, he'll charge you a fee, typically 10 to 20 percent of your bail amount.The bail agency is then responsible for ensuring that the individual arrives in court on the day of his or her trial. If the individual does not turn up in court, then the bail agency may hire a bounty hunter to track the individual down. It should be noted that the U.S. is one of the only countries in the world that still allows bounty hunting. A bond is a surety that the full bail amount will be paid, but some courts will accept either the full bond or a 10% cash down payment for the release of a suspect. In the broadest sense, the bail-bond business is simple. You get arrested for a crime: a robbery, for example. A judge sets your bail—the money you have to pay if you want to be released before your court date—at, maybe, fifteen thousand dollars. You get the money back if you show up at court when you’re supposed to, and forfeit it if you don’t. Since most defendants don’t have fifteen thousand dollars on hand, they turn to a bondsman. Jakab, who is thirty-six and runs the business as a sole proprietorship, doesn’t actually meet most of his defendants before he bails them out, because they’re behind bars. The bail bondsman that is commonly portrayed in the media is the surety bail bondsman. This type of bondsman is licensed by state governments to provide bail bonds for defendants who are accused of one of a wide variety of crimes ranging from driving citations up to capital murder. In return for a guarantee that the offender will appear in court, the surety bail bondsman puts up the money for the entire bail amount. In most states, surety bail bondsmen are allowed to ask for a percentage of the bail amount as the fee for issuing the bond. This percentage can range from ten to 20 percent depending on state laws. Like other financial professionals who provide loans or bonds, bail bondsmen jobs involve ascertaining whether a potential client should be issued a bond. The most common way to earn a bail bond is to provide some sort of security like real estate or valuable property, or to have a co-signer who will guarantee the defendant will appear for their court date.Bail bonds that are issued to defendants charged with federal crimes are designated as federal bonds. Unlike the more common surety bonds, federal bail bonds not only guarantee that a defendant will appear for a court date, but that they will also comply with all pre-trial conditions. These conditions may include regular drug testing, restricted travel or limited business activities. Should the defendant fail to meet any of these conditions, the entire bail amount could be forfeited.Immigration bonds are a type of federal bond that is required to secure release from an immigration detention facility. Bond recipients are usually in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a federal agency, but may be held in local or county jails. Immigration bonds are considered by the bail industry as higher risk bonds because immigrants have fewer ties to the community and are more likely to flee rather than face imprisonment or deportation. There are fewer bondsmen who are willing to engage in this type of bail business because of the increased financial risks. Bail bondsmen who issue immigration bonds typically compensate for this added risk by charging a higher fee, in some cases five percent more than on comparable surety bonds. A bond is a debt investment in which an investor loans money to an entity (typically corporate or governmental) which borrows the funds for a defined period of time at a variable or fixed interest rate. Bonds are used by companies, municipalities, states and sovereign governments to raise money and finance a variety of projects and activities. Owners of bonds are debtholders, or creditors, of the issuer. When companies or other entities need to raise money to finance new projects, maintain ongoing operations, or refinance existing other debts, they may issue bonds directly to investors instead of obtaining loans from a bank. The indebted entity (issuer) issues a bond that contractually states the interest rate (coupon) that will be paid and the time at which the loaned funds (bond principal) must be returned (maturity date). Business service bonds are great marketing tools used by legitimate businesses to stand out from the competition, and purchasing one can be the difference between winning a job or losing out to your competition. Almost all potential clients require proof that a business is bonded prior to awarding them the job, because having a bond demonstrates trustworthiness and credibility to both current and future clients. The most important thing to consider when deciding how much coverage you need is where your company will be providing service. Because business service bonds protect your clients from theft committed by one of your employees, some business types require greater bond amounts than others. Public corporations can sell bonds publicly by registering them with the Securities and Exchange Commission. However, if you run a private business, you can issue bonds without registering them with the SEC. The key is qualifying for a private placement of bonds that are exempt from SEC registration. You can also sell bonds through crowdfunding, pending final SEC approval. A corporate bond is a bond issued by a corporation in order to raise financing for a variety of reasons such as to ongoing operations, M&A, or to expand business. The term is usually applied to longer-term debt instruments, with maturity of at least one year. Corporate debt instruments with maturity shorter than one year are referred to as commercial paper. Corporate bonds trade in decentralized, dealer-based, over-the-counter markets. In over-the-counter trading dealers act as intermediaries between buyers and sellers. Corporate bonds are sometimes listed on exchanges (these are called "listed" bonds) and ECNs. However, vast majority of trading volume happens over-the-counter. By far the largest market for corporate bonds is in corporate bonds denominated in US Dollars. US Dollar corporate bond market is the oldest, largest, and most developed. As the term corporate bond is not well defined, the size of the market varies according to who is doing the counting, but it is in the $5 to $6 trillion range. The second largest market is in Euro denominated corporate bonds. Other markets tend to be small by comparison and are usually not well developed, with low trading volumes. Many corporations from other countries issue in either US Dollars or Euros. Foreign corporates issuing bonds in the US Dollar market are called Yankees and their bonds are Yankee bonds. The coupon (i.e. interest payment) is usually taxable for the investor. It is tax deductible for the corporation paying it. For US Dollar corporates, the coupon is almost always semi annual, while Euro denominated corporates pay coupon quarterly. High Grade corporate bonds usually trade on credit spread. Credit spread is the difference in yield between the bond and an underlying US Treasury bond (for US Dollar corporates) of similar maturity. Credit spread is the extra yield an investor earns over a risk free instrument (US Treasury) as a compensation for the extra risk. Compared to government bonds, corporate bonds generally have a higher risk of default. This risk depends on the particular corporation issuing the bond, the current market conditions and governments to which the bond issuer is being compared and the rating of the company. Corporate bond holders are compensated for this risk by receiving a higher yield than government bonds. The difference in yield (called credit spread) reflects the higher probability of default, the expected loss in the event of default, and may also reflect liquidity and risk premia. Credit Spread Risk: The risk that the credit spread of a bond (extra yield to compensate investors for taking default risk), which is inherent in the fixed coupon, becomes insufficient compensation for default risk that has later deteriorated. As the coupon is fixed the only way the credit spread can readjust to new circumstances is by the market price of the bond falling and the yield rising to such a level that an appropriate credit spread is offered. Interest Rate Risk: The level of Yields generally in a bond market, as expressed by Government Bond Yields, may change and thus bring about changes in the market value of Fixed-Coupon bonds so that their Yield to Maturity adjusts to newly appropriate levels. Liquidity Risk: There may not be a continuous secondary market for a bond, thus leaving an investor with difficulty in selling at, or even near to, a fair price. This particular risk could become more severe in developing markets, where a large amount of junk bonds belong, such as India, Vietnam, Indonesia, etc. Supply Risk: Heavy issuance of new bonds similar to the one held may depress their prices. Inflation Risk: Inflation reduces the real value of future fixed cash flows. An anticipation of inflation, or higher inflation, may depress prices immediately. Tax Change Risk: Unanticipated changes in taxation may adversely impact the value of a bond to investors and consequently its immediate market value.
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