Bail amounts can be set quite high. It can be a challenge to scrape the money together to pay for one. If you or someone you know needs to post bail, one option is to get a bail bond. Are there other options for emergency funding when you need to release someone in jail? Let’s review your options.
A bail bond is a type of bond provided by a surety bond company, a type of insurance company, through a bail agent or a bail bondsman that secures the release of someone from jail.
- Surety Bond: A bond that guarantees you will fulfill a task or obligation.
- For example, when you take out a bail bond, you are promising (guaranteeing) that you, or the person you are taking the bail bond out for, will show up to trial.
Title loans can help alleviate the costs of a bail bond. But what are title loans? With LoanMart, title loans are the fastest and easiest ways to get money. Before we talk title loans as emergency cash, here’s how bail bonds work.
How do Bail Bonds work?
When someone needs a bail bond, they go to a bail agent or bondsman. The Principal, that’s the person asking for the bail bond, must pay the bail agent 10% of the total amount of the bail.
- The cost of the bail will either be set by the judge or comes from a list of set bail prices based on the crime
In addition to paying the bail agent 10%, the principal must pledge collateral of equal or greater value to the remaining 90% of the loan.
- For example, if bond is set at $3,000, the principal must pay the bail agent $300, leaving $2,700 that must be secured with collateral. The principal can use something like a car as collateral to cover the remaining $2,700.
Once the 10% is paid and the remaining 90% is secured through collateral, the bond agent will provide the court with the full value of the bail.
Once the bail is posted, the accused is released under the assumption that they will appear for their court date.
What happens if the accused appears for their court date?
If the accused appears for their court date, the bail money is returned, in this case to the company that the bond agent works for. The surety bond company will release any liens they have on collateral provided by the principal. However, in nearly all cases, they will keep the 10% cash payment made by the principal at the beginning of the process.
What happens if the accused does not appear for their court date?
If the accused doesn’t appear for their court date, the bail money is forfeit and the judge will issue a bench warrant for their arrest.
- Note that if the accused is recaptured, by the police for example, the bond may be returned once they are back in custody. The exact amount of time available to bring the accused in varies on a case by case basis. Even if the accused is returned to custody, it is still possible that the surety bond company will repossess the collateral of the principal.
Once the grace period to return the accused to custody is over, the bond is forfeited permanently. The surety bond company now has the option to repossess and sell the collateral used to secure the other 90% of the bail bond.
This means you should be very careful about who you consider pledging collateral to for the purpose of a bail bond. If they jump bail, you could lose whatever you pledged to secure the bail bond.
That said, bail bond companies would much prefer to get their money back than to repossess and sell your car. This means they will normally work to locate the accused and return them to police custody or encourage them to turn themselves in. Depending on the laws of the particular state, they may hire investigators specializing in retrieving people who have skipped bail, aka, bounty hunters.
What do bounty hunters do?
They locate and capture fugitives in exchange for monetary compensation, usually a percentage of the bail, if they successfully return the fugitive to custody. In most states, they are licensed and/or registered professionals who are closely monitored by insurance and licensing authorities. Popular culture depicts them as rough individuals with a shoot first and ask questions later attitude. Many bounty hunters are well-educated individuals, with degrees in fields like criminal justice, who spend much of their time researching and gathering intelligence about their target. The better prepared a bounty hunter is, the more likely they will get their quarry and the less likely anyone will get hurt.
- Just like if a fugitive is recovered by the police, if a bounty hunter returns the accused to custody within the grace period allotted by the court, if there is one, then the bail bond money will still be returned to the surety bond company.
Bail can be prohibitively expensive. If you need a way to pay for bail, you can look into getting a bail bond. You’ll only need to pay 10% of the total bond, though you will need collateral for the final 90%, and if the accused skips bail, you could lose it all. So, think carefully before you agree to put up collateral for someone else’s bail bond.
When in need of additional funding to pay for a bail bond, title loans may be a favorable option. Car title loans from LoanMart may be a great way to get essential funding without all the hassles that can come with traditional lenders.
One of the best things about car title loans from LoanMart is that they can be fast and efficient. You could even receive your car title loan funding as soon as the next business day3!