Getting a call from the county jail is always jarring, especially when the news is that a loved one is behind bars. Chances are, they will need to be bailed out, which may not be in your personal budget. Fortunately, bail bond services provide an option for getting your loved one free while they awaiting their court or trial date. If you have never arranged for a bond before, the following are the things to know and ask for when shopping for a bail bond service.
#1: Know the details of the charges
Not every bond company handles all types of charges. For example, some bond services only handle low-risk-of-flight charges, such as a DUI or white-collar crime. Others may handle only non-violent criminal charges, while others may specialize in providing bonds for high-risk clientele such as those accused of murder. You will need to know the specific charges that your loved one faces so you can quickly screen out any bond companies that do not qualify for your needs. All of this information will be available from the arresting agency or the courthouse in the event your loved one doesn't provide it for you.
#2: Find out the fees
Bail bonds always carry a fee. Most services charge a percentage of the total bond amount, but some have a flat fee. Find out the fees for all the bond companies you are considering before making a final decision. Payment method is also important. You may need to pay the fee upfront, or it may be due at a later time. You will likely have to pay cash for the fee. Some bond companies will accept a credit card for payment of the fees, but this generally entails paying an extra fee to the bondsman to cover the credit card processing charge imposed by credit card companies. By paying cash, you may be able to save quite a bit of money.
#3: Ask about accepted collateral
Your fees are generally nonrefundable, and they will be nowhere near the amount of the bond. This means that the bond company needs to make sure they are protected in the event your loved one jumps bail and forfeits the bond money. For this purpose, you will be asked to provide collateral. Remember, you are always at risk of losing anything you put down as collateral since the company will seize it if your loved one flees. For this reason, it makes more sense to put a car down as collateral as opposed to your house — a car is much easier to replace if worse comes to worst. Find out what the company will accept as collateral, and choose the lowest-risk option to protect yourself.
For more help, contact a bond company.
When I started my own company, I knew that I needed a little business capital and fast. In an effort to raise money, I worked with various lenders to discuss loans, financing, and special terms. Unfortunately, I quickly discovered that not every loan was created equally. Some loans had almost predatory terms like high interest rates and penalties, while others were completely fair. Fortunately, a business consultant of mine taught me about loans and financing, so that I could make better choices in the future. The information on this blog saved my business, and I know that it can help yours too.