Mike Quick has been a bondsman with Bill’s Bail Bonds for almost a decade. The job requires him to remain on call at almost all hours—on a recent birthday, he arrived at the office at 7:30 a.m. and didn’t get home until after midnight. We spoke with him about how the industry works and why he loves his job anyway.
On how he got started When I first started in the industry, you had to be a licensed insurance agent. I was an agent in Greenbrier County. selling home and car insurance. I had just started in the insurance business, so my income was pretty low. I started with Bill’s Bail Bonds to supplement my income. But I really enjoyed the work. I enjoyed meeting the people, hearing some of their stories, and the relationships you build with them.
On how bonding works When an arrest is made, the defendant goes in front of a judge for an arraignment. The judge sets a bond. Let’s say the bond is set at $10,000. In West Virginia, we are required by law to charge 10 percent, so we would charge $1,000 to whoever wants to come in and sign. The defendant makes contact with us, usually to reach out to their family. I try to explain to them how the process works, then we go to the court and sign a contract guaranteeing that the defendant will show up for all their hearings.
On getting to know defendants In the course of filling out their paperwork, I try to get to know people a little bit from a personal standpoint, because I just enjoy meeting people. But also from a business standpoint, the more I know about my clients, the easier it is to find them if they flee. I know what part of town they’re hanging out in, who they like to run with, what things they’re into.
On helping families One of the things I enjoy about my job is trying to help people out in a really bad situation. Mom is devastated because her son just got arrested. She’s upset and crying and has no idea what to do. To be able to calm her nerves and walk her through the process to get her son back is pretty fulfilling to me.
interviewed by J. Kendall Perkinson
photographed by Carla Witt Ford