If you're in a position where you need the services of a bail bondsman, things likely haven't gone as planned. When you're in this predicament, it's normal to feel scared, but it's also important to know your rights. This is particularly true if you find yourself needing to co-sign a bail bond for someone you care about.
Here are some things to remember before you co-sign the dotted line on a bail bond.
Cash or Collateral
When co-signing a bail bond, you are responsible for the entire bond. If the defendant receiving the bail does not appear on their appointed court date, the bail bondsman is entitled to secure payment for the bond from whatever party or parties associated with the bond.
When co-signing a bail bond, you can put up a portion of the bond as collateral. In the event that the bond needs to be collected, the bondsman will keep this cash held in escrow. Regardless of any arrangement you might have made with the other signees of the bond, the bail bond service has the legal authority to secure the cash on hand. If you're going to opt for the cash route, make sure that you are prepared to send the money if the accused goes on the lamb.
One of the only ways to limit your liability if co-signing is to designate the collateral you're willing to put up to satisfy the bail bond. For instance, you might designate a boat, a plot of land, or an antique item as collateral. If you opt for this route, however, you'll need to have the item independently appraised and give the bail bondsman access or possession of the item while the bond is still pending. Additionally, many bail bondsmen will have different bond limits for collateral versus cash. For instance, a $4,000 item might not satisfy a $3,000 bond because the bail bondsman will need to sell the collateral item, which might require additional time and effort. Thus, you'll likely need to put up more collateral if you choose this option. However, your bond will be limited to this item in the event that the bond is forfeited.
Stipulations and Second Thoughts
Co-signing a bail bond requires a level of trust. If you're a co-signee of a bail bond, it is your legal and financial responsibility to make sure that the accused attends their court date. You can help the defendant receiving the bond by applying leverage both before and after you co-sign their bail bond.
You can add an addendum onto the bail bond stipulating conditions for your commitment accused. For instance, you might stipulate that the accused refrain from drug or alcohol usage while out on bond. If you witness them break this agreement, you can contact the bail bondsman and receive your portion of the bond back after the accused has been apprehended or satisfied the bond without your financial support. Other pertinent stipulations you might want to add to the bail bond include appearing for parole dates, meeting with lawyers, maintaining employment, and/or remaining within an area. It's important to remember, however, that these stipulations won't free you from the bond until the accused has been secured by the bail bondsman and/or the accused satisfies their bond without your help.
If you feel like the accused will not show up on their appointed court date, you have a duty to alert authorities. In some jurisdictions, you can revoke a portion of the collateral or cash you might have put up for the accused. However, making this move will effectively make the accused into a fugitive.Share
25 July 2019
When I began my first business selling sports equipment locally, I knew the sports-world well, and I knew how to run a business. One thing I did not know a lot about was the financial world. I had never applied for a loan in my life other than when I financed my car with the dealership in-house financing. My first application at a large bank was denied. I began looking into my other options, and I found that there were more lenders for new businesses than I realized. I applied at local credit unions, local banks, and other business lending services. I was able to secure more funding than I even expected, and my credit is just average. I created this blog to help other new business owners realize that there is funding out there. You just have to find it and apply! Don't give up on your dream.