Yes, you do know that you can turn to a bail bondsman if you need money to post bail for you or your loved one’s release. But did you know that with so many agents out there, it’s difficult selecting the right person without asking these questions?
Make sure you select the right person. Some bail bond services near you may not be able to help post bail for someone in another state. Besides, some of them may not have a license, and dealing with them is a bit risky.
Asking these questions is the best way to avoid these complications, and select the right people.
1. Are there any guidelines or minimal bond amounts?
This is an important question. Some companies have minimal amounts for bonds they issue while others don’t. Those who don’t have a minimum do have rules dictating the most bail amount they cover.
It depends on the bail bond company’s market and size. It may not be profitable for a bail bondsman in some citifies to handle cases with small amounts. But, new and small agencies may not have the funds to provide for very high amounts every day.
2. Does a bail bondsman perform warrant checks?
Some bail bond agencies will check if you have any active warrants for your arrest for free. Some also provide bonds to those with warrants. A check lets you post bail to remain free till your court date. It’s better than going to jail when you turn yourself in because of your existing warrants.
3. What are your payment options for a bail bondsman?
Find out what payment options the bail bondsmen offer you to pay their bail bond fee. Some accept only cash while others accept credit cards, cheques, and bank transfers.
You can at the same time check to see if the bail bond company has a payment plan. It proves helpful if you are short on cash and don’t have any credit options.
Check to find out if they charge any extra fees and interest for their payment plans. You should be aware of this at the start because it affects the amount you will have to repay them.
4. Do I have to bring a co-signer?
Find out what guidelines the bond services follow to sanction bail. Some of them need a co-signer. It all depends on various factors. For example, your case details, your credit, and criminal histories and if you are a probable flight risk to them.
You can’t just get anyone to be your cosigner. The role carries with it lots of responsibilities. First of all, the bail bondsman will turn to the co-signer for their bail payment if you miss your court date. And if you disappear, it’s the co-signer who the bail bondsman turns to as a starting point to tracking you down.
Sometimes you may need a co-signer but you, unfortunately, don’t have anyone to sign on your behalf. Don’t worry if this is the case because there are other options you can use.
There are some bailsmen who will let you put up some collateral instead if you don’t anyone as a co-signer. It’s beneficial to the bail agency because they can seize the collateral to cover your bail expenses if you disappear.
5. Are all financial terms in writing?
Make sure all the agreed-upon financial terms are clearly written in a contract. This prevents any unnecessary miscommunication and confusion because of misunderstandings over verbally fixed terms.
6. Have any clients have sued you or your company?
You should know if anyone has sued the bail bondsman in California over the past year. Conduct online searches if you are unsure about the bondsman being true and honest with you. You can check to see how many civil courts have records listing the bond company as the defendant.
7. Is the bail premium an annual fee or one-time payment?
Some bail bond agencies may hide their full charges listed in the bail contract. They may sometimes ask for an upfront premium fee but not include information about payable annual premiums. The best way to avoid this confusion in the first place is to find out if the annual is a one-time or annual payment.
8. Has your bail bondsman license been restricted or suspended at any time?
You wouldn’t want to hire a bail bond agent with a restricted or suspended license. So check and find out this before signing any contracts instead of repenting later on.
9. Define a bail bond surrender.
This is a situation where you, as a co-signer can surrender the bail bond if you have second thoughts about bailing a friend or loved one out.
If you do this, everything paid is reimbursed, except for fees paid to the bail bond agency. But bail bond surrender is applicable only if the person who will be returning to jail hadn’t missed any court dates.
10. What is your insurance company’s address?
There is the risk of your agent’s General Agent or insurance company being located far away. This will be difficult for you to reach out to them for help to handle any problems that crop up. Always work with a company that’s located nearby.
11. How old is your bail bondsman firm?
This is the best question to use to find out how experienced your bail bondsmen are. It is always better to trust and do business with a company that has at least a few years of experience.
12. How many homes were sent to foreclosure last year because of your bail bondsman?
People generally keep their homes as collateral if the bail bondsman needs one. It’s important you know if your selected bail bondsman may send you to a foreclosure if you don’t pay your debts on time. It’s better to avoid them and look for more reasonable bail bondsmen.
13. What bail bond options do I have?
There are various bail bond options you have. It’s always better that you clearly understand them before proceeding.
14. Will all bond forfeiture expenses be itemized?
It’s normal for the bail bondsman to demand that you pay all associated expenses. Besides, it’s more if a person doesn’t appear in court. It’s better if your bail bond agent provides you with an official and itemized invoice. It should include all the expenses you are responsible for.
Josh Herman Bail Bonds is a reputable bail bond company to contact for bail bond requirements. Contact us and one of our experienced bail bondsmen will get in touch with you as soon as possible.