Considering Cosigning a Bail Bond? What You Need to Know
When a friend or loved one needs a bail bond, an experienced bail bond company can help. But every bail bond needs to be signed by the defendant, a cosigner, and the agent. A cosigner can be anyone who is close to the defendant, usually a family member or friend. Before agreeing to be a cosigner for a bail bond, it’s important to ask questions, do research, and make sure that you understand what your obligations are.
What Are the Responsibilities of a Cosigner?
A cosigner is responsible for both the amount of the bail and the defendant. By signing, you become liable for the defendant. It will be your responsibility to make sure your loved one shows up to court on their scheduled date. If the defendant doesn’t show up, the bail bondsman will come to you for the bail amount. It’s very important you have faith that the defendant will show up.
Another responsibility is paying the bond premium. The bail bondsman will charge a fee for the service of fronting the bail money for the defendant. This will need to be paid upfront, or an agreement needs to be made before bail will be posted. If the defendant does skip bail, there could also be a recovery fee charged to return them to jail. This could also be your responsibility to pay.
What to Consider Before Agreeing to Cosign a Bail Bond
If you are unsure whether you should cosign a bail bond for a friend or family member, ask yourself a few questions:
- How well do you know the defendant? Is this a trustworthy person who will show up when required and not skip bail? Everyone makes mistakes, and it’s great if you can help someone you care for stay out of jail, but just make sure that you can trust them.
- Do you understand what you are signing? Take the time to ask as many questions as necessary to fully understand your responsibilities. Read everything before you sign, and make sure that you are working with a reputable bail bond company.
- Are you truly ready to help? There is much more to this than signing a piece of paper. You need to be ready to help the defendant keep out of trouble, stay clean and sober, and make it to court. In addition to this, there are also the financial liabilities. You will be responsible for paying the bail if the defendant doesn’t show up and also for the percentage due to the bail bondsman.
Cosigning a bail bond can help your friend or loved one significantly. But your gift to them shouldn’t become a hardship for you down the line. Make sure you know what you’re up against.
Through this entire process make sure you are working with an experienced and reputable bail bond company like Freedom Bail Bonds. We can help answer all of your questions to make sure you understand the requirements of cosigning a bail bond. Find us online or call us at 817-795-5300.