None of us wants to think about getting that call. But if it did happen to you, would you know what to do if someone close to you called to ask for your help in getting out of jail?
The fact is that nearly 10 million Americans find themselves in jail each year. Many of them simply don’t have the resources to arrange a bail bond contract for themselves. So if that call ever comes, here’s what you need to know.
Understand What Bail Is Before You Agree to Anything
Bail is cash or other assets the court requires to guarantee that someone released from jail on bail appears at future court dates. A jailed person who can’t pay the bail may sign a contract with a bail bond agent.
In return for a non-refundable state-regulated fee, the bail bondsman guarantees the court that the released person will appear. A bail bond agent westmoreland county pa, for example, would charge 10 percent of the total bail.
But if even 10 percent is too much for the person you care about, you might be able to step in as a cosigner of the bail bond contract. In doing so, you’ll share responsibility for the entire bail. And the bail bond agent may ask you to pledge cash or other assets as proof you can cover it.
The Risk of Cosigning
If the defendant lets you down by failing to appear, you won’t be the only one who suffers. You’ll lose the assets you’ve pledged. And a warrant will be issued for the released person’s arrest. Talk about a classic lose-lose situation!
Cosigning a bail bond is a serious commitment. Getting a call asking you to act as a cosigner is definitely alarming, but you need to step back and assess the situation. Think long and hard before you act, because your decision will have a serious impact on both your lives!