Getting a friend or loved one out of jail with a bond can be expensive, which is where a bail bond company comes in. Here are a couple of questions you should ask when choosing a company to work with.
What Kind of Collateral Is Acceptable?
You are working with a bail bond company because you do not have all the money required to get your friend or loved one out of jail. The bail bond company will put the money up for you but do not expect them to do so without getting some kind of collateral from you. After all, if your friend or loved one does not show up for a court date and their bond is forfeited, the bail bond company will not want to pay the bond out-of-pocket or they would lose a lot of money.
Therefore, the company you decide to work with will require some type of collateral to cover the cost of the bond just in case the bond has to be paid to the court. Depending on the company, they may accept one or more of the following as collateral:
Not all companies accept the same types of collateral, so it is important to ask for a list of acceptable assets in writing so that you can thoroughly explore each option and determine which is the best option for you.
What Percentage Is Non-Refundable?
Bail bond companies are in business to make money, so for the trouble of putting up a bond for your friend or loved one, they will want to keep a cut of the bond amount. Usually they charge the amount that the court will require you to pay to release your friend or loved one from jail. If your friend or loved one skips court, they will be put back in jail and the court will keep the cash you put up. The rest of the bond will be paid for by the bail bond company, and the bail bond company will recoup the money by taking ownership of the collateral you put up.
On the other hand, if your friend or loved one does show up for court and they follow through with all their legal obligations, the cash you put up for the bond will be returned by the court and the bond will be canceled. Because the bail bond company will not have to pay for the bond, they will release your collateral back to you, as well as most of the cash you put up However, they will keep a percentage of the cash as payment for their services. So to make sure that you know what to expect, it is important to find out what percentage of the cash you put up will be non-refundable and used as payment for the bail bond company.
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