A judge has blocked a law that would’ve given only one group the authority to train bail bondsmen in North Carolina. Wake County Superior Court Judge Donald Stephens said the law would have created an unconstitutional monopoly by allowing only the North Carolina Bail Agents Association to train bondsmen and provide state-required continuing ed courses. The Association’s sole competitor –the North Carolina Bail Academy - sued to stop the law.
Tim Mathis is an instructor at the Academy and a bail bondsman in Monroe.
“For me and for all the bondsmen in the state that get to not be under the thumb of high-cost fees and membership dues and everything else, we’re excited," Mathis says.
Mathis says the Bail Agents Association continuously raised its fees on the required classes, but dropped them after the Bail Academy came on board as a competitor a year ago. Right now they both charge $220 for continuing education classes, but Mathis suspects the Association's fee would have gone up had the law gone into effect. It was supposed to do that yesterday. The North Carolina Bail Agents Association did not return WFAE’s calls.