Are you considering bailing a friend or a loved one out of jail, but you aren't sure how the bail bonds process works? If so, you aren't alone. In fact, many people assume that because they don't have all of the money to cover the amount of the bail set by the judge that their loved one has to stay in jail. Fortunately, that's not true. Learn more about how the bail bonds process works before you decide to co-sign a bail bond.
Not Everyone Can Co-Sign a Bail Bond
Unfortunately, bail bondsmen don't just allow anyone to co-sign for a bail bonds. After all, they need to make sure that they will get their money back. So, in order to co-sign for a bail bond, you need to be a US citizen, have stable credit, and have lived in the same area for a significant amount of time. While most cases warrant the co-signer to meet all of these requirements, the requirements can vary by state. So, don't assume that you aren't eligible to co-sign the bail bond before you talk to the bail bondsman.
What Happens When You Co-Sign a Bail Bond?
Generally, when you co-sign a bail bond, you'll pay 10 percent of the bail amount ordered by the court and the bail bondsman pays the remaining 90 percent. This means, if your loved one's bail is set at $10,000, you'll need to pay $1,000 up front. If the bail bondsman doesn't think that you have enough funds to pay the entire bail amount if needed, you might also be required to put up your house or car to secure the loan. Once you pay the fee and the bail bondsman pays the bail, your loved one will be released from jail until his or her scheduled court date.
If Your Loved One Skips Court, You're Responsible
When you co-sign a bail bond, you're signing a promissory note that states that if your loved one doesn't appear in court, you'll pay the full amount of the bail. So, it's extremely important that you only bail someone out of jail if you're absolutely sure that he or she will show up to the court dates when they are scheduled.
Co-signing a bail bond is a huge decision. While it does allow your loved one to get out of jail while he or she awaits trial, there are also some serious risks that you have to consider. As long as you know that the person that you're bailing out of jail will appear in court for every scheduled court date, you shouldn't have a problem dealing with a bail bondsman. You could try these guys, or a similar company, if the need ever arises.
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