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The Florida Statutes

The 2018 Florida Statutes

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 648
BAIL BOND AGENTS
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F.S. 648.571
648.571 Failure to return collateral; penalty.
(1) A bail bond agent who has taken collateral or an insurer or managing general agent who holds collateral as security for a bail bond shall, upon demand, make a written request for a discharge of the bond to be delivered to the surety or the surety’s agent. A copy of the written request for discharge must be given to the indemnitor or the person making the request for the collateral, and a copy must be maintained in the agent’s file. If a discharge is provided to the surety or the surety’s agent pursuant to chapter 903, the collateral shall be returned to the indemnitor within 21 days after the discharge is provided.
(2) Upon demand, following the written request for discharge and upon diligent inquiry by the surety or surety’s agent to determine whether the bond has been discharged, the failure of the court to provide a written discharge to the surety or surety’s agent pursuant to chapter 903 within 7 days automatically cancels the bond, and the collateral shall be returned to the indemnitor within 21 days after the written request for discharge.
(3)(a) Fees or charges other than those provided in this chapter or by rule of the department or commission may not be deducted from the collateral due.
(b)1. The bail bond agent may charge the credit card fee imposed in connection with the use of the credit card for payment of collateral if the fee is clearly shown on the collateral receipt and is acknowledged by the person tendering the credit card.
2. The prevailing schedule of credit card fees must be conspicuously posted in the lobby of the bail bond agency, and a copy must be provided to the person tendering the credit card.
(c) Allowable expenses incurred in apprehending a defendant because of a bond forfeiture or judgment under s. 903.29 may be deducted if such expenses are accounted for. The failure to return collateral under these terms is punishable as follows:
1. If the collateral is of a value less than $100, as provided in s. 775.082(4)(a).
2. If the collateral is of a value of $100 or more, as provided in s. 775.082(3)(e).
3. If the collateral is of a value of $1,500 or more, as provided in s. 775.082(3)(d).
4. If the collateral is of a value of $10,000 or more, as provided in s. 775.082(3)(b).
(4) In addition to the criminal penalties and any other penalties provided in this chapter, the department shall impose against any person violating this section an administrative fine of five times the dollar amount of the collateral.
History.ss. 36, 72, ch. 82-175; ss. 50, 51, ch. 84-103; s. 5, ch. 87-321; ss. 43, 46, 47, ch. 90-131; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 41, ch. 96-372; s. 28, ch. 2002-260; s. 1660, ch. 2003-261; s. 7, ch. 2014-220.