I was eager to make my trip to Wilmington, North Carolina last week to attend an NCBAA meeting. It was my first time attending. While American Surety Company has done business in North Carolina for many years over the past three decades we only recently returned to doing business in the state after a multi-year hiatus.
The Tar Heel State has the right to boast about its very effective bail agent association. The NCBAA enjoys large turnouts at the continuing education classes held across the state and their legislative efforts are as productive as any other bail association in the country.
I only knew a few people at this meeting though I was pleasantly surprised of the number of bail agents who were regular readers of our e-newsletter and appreciative of the positive, information based content of our periodicals.
An election of area directors was held at this meeting off the coast of the Atlantic. A legislative update was also provided including the announcement HB 446 had been signed by Governor Pat McCrory two days before.
This key piece of legislation does several things. It increases the minimum age to become a licensed bail agent from 18 to 21. The period for which to return bond collateral increased from 72 hours to 15 days and bail agents obtained expanded free access to case information provided by the Administrative Office of the Courts. This increased access alone will save North Carolina bail agents from between four and six thousand dollars in annual access fees.
Good things are occurring in North Carolina and this is an association to keep an eye on. I’m looking forward to a return visit.