If you are arrested and do not have access to cash or collateral such as property to post bail, you may arrange for a bail bondsmen to pay the bail for you in exchange for a fee. If the bail bondsman also requires collateral or another form of guarantee, you have options. Friends and family may not be willing or able to provide you with cash. But they may be willing to act as the guarantor of a bail bond underwritten by bondsmen services.
The upfront payment and collateral required (if any) will be partly determined by the credit rating of the friend or family member.
Credit Backing for Bail Bonds
If the friend or family member providing the backing has a good credit rating, the bondsman may not request collateral. He may, though, require a credit card or bank account be provided to guarantee the payment. This process may or not involve a hold for the amount of bail.
Collateral for Bonds
In lieu of or in addition to a good credit rating, your guarantor may be asked to provide collateral. Collateral may include a vehicle, real estate, stocks, or bonds. The guarantor will not be required to vacate the property or surrender the title to the vehicle while the court appearance is pending. Items that can be pawned are also accepted. They may include jewelry, computers, tablets, smartphones, and video game systems.
Partial Secured Bonds
A friend or family member may be willing to put up some, but not all, of the bond. If the bond is high or beyond the means of the friend, the bondsman may agree to accept a partial payment. Under these circumstances, the bail bond service will assume some of the risks. In exchange, a higher fee may be charged.
Will the guarantor get all their money back?
If you fail to appear for your court date, your friend or family member will be obligated to pay the bond or make financial arrangements to do so with the bail bond services guaranteeing the bond.
After you appear in court and the legal process is concluded, a full or partial bond will be returned. A small bond fee charged by the court and the bondsman's fee are not refundable. You may choose to take care of the fees yourself. The 10 percent bond fee will be required upfront. In this way, your guarantor will be made whole when the bail funds are returned.
For more information on making bail, contact a bondsmen service.