Chuck Jordan, the current president of the National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents (NAFRA) is striving to get federal rules on training in place for bounty hunters in hopes of stopping the bad PR that his profession has been receiving. Jordan is also calling for background checks which he said will help weed out bounty hunters who may have serious criminal charges against them.
This type of regulation would not be highly welcomed by the freelance bounty hunters who use the occupation as a way to make money on the side. Rob “Daddy Rat” Hoyt is an Idaho trucker who says that he is able to make good money as a bounty hunter, due in part to the lack of regulation, especially in Idaho, Wyoming and Montana. In fact, only four states in the nation do not allow private citizens to bounty hunt.
The occupation attracts people from all walks of life due to its mainly hands-off approach which gives bounty hunters lots of free time to pursue other interests while still having the opportunity to make good money. Bounty hunters are typically paid by bondsmen when someone flees after making bond. Bounty hunters generally receive 10-20% of the bond plus expenses as payment for the capture of the fugitive. With some bonds in excess of $100,000, this serves as a very lucrative side business.
Michael O’Halloran of Wyoming Fugitive Investigations in Cheyenne, Wyoming is against stricter regulations for bounty hunters. He believes that additional restrictions would prevent bounty hunters from completing their missions. He pointed to an 1873 Supreme Court decision which gives bounty hunters the right to break into a property if a fugitive is known to occupy it.
While NAFRA waits to gain regulation approval, its professionals are doing what they can to protect the reputation of the industry by pairing rookies with seasoned professionals in an apprentice-like role.