If you have been contacted by a friend or loved one who was recently arrested and is still in jail, they may have asked if you could bail them out. If the amount they need to post bail is a large cash sum, you will need to go through a bondsman if you do not have that type of money readily available.
Before you decide to help them out, there are a couple of things that you need to know about posting bail for someone else through a bondsman.
1. You Will Need to Take Proof of Collateral with You When You Go Through a Bondsman
One thing that you should take into account when making the decision is that you will need collateral. When you post bail through a bondsman, you are essentially taking out a loan because the business puts up the money without cash from you.
When you visit the bondsman, you will need to bring with you documented proof of the collateral, such as a car title or a property deed. As long as the person for whom you are posting bail attends court appearances, the loan will be in good standing until the case is resolved.
2. You Will Bear at Least Some Responsibility for the Person You Are Posting Bail For
Another thing that you should bear in mind when you go through a bail bondsman is that you will take on some responsibility for the person's actions. Because you are the one that put up collateral, if the person for whom you posted bail neglects to appear in court, you are responsible for the money owed to the bondsman.
This could result in a lien on your property or car, or you could lose it completely. Before you put up collateral and sign for your friend or family member, make sure that you are confident that they will abide by everything that is stated in the court order and the bail agreement.
If you have decided that you can accept responsibility for your friend or loved one, make sure you bring with you a copy of the deed, title, or other documentation that you wish to use for collateral. You can call to verify exactly what you will need before you go to the office. If you have any other questions about the process, contact the business that offers bail bonds to speak with a representative.