Did a loved one recently reach out to you from jail and need help with securing a bail bond? You may find yourself debating about if you should co-sign the bail bond. While you may want to help the person that is in jail, you need to know the risks and liability that you take on by being part of the bail bond process.
As a co-signer, you will be known as the guarantor of the bail bond. This means you are legally responsible for the defendant and must make sure that they return for all court dates as required. If the defendant does not appear, you may be liable for the full amount of money borrowed through the bail bond. Thankfully, this is not a problem as long as the defendant meets all court date requirements.
A bail bond company may require you to provide collateral to secure a bail bond. This collateral can be real estate, vehicles, or a combination of valuable items that total the amount needed. This is another layer of risk since you could lose the collateral if the defendant fails to appear in court. However, the collateral will be returned to you after the verdict of a trial is reached and sentencing has occurred
Co-signing a bail bond is actually a legal agreement between you and the bondsman, and you could face legal consequences if you do not fulfill your end of the agreement. If the defendant decides to skip court, you may be subject to a court judgment so that the bondsman can get their money back. This includes actions such as wage garnishment, where the money is taken out of your paycheck. In addition, not paying back a bail bond can make it harder to get a loan. It will be reflected on your credit report and can put you at risk of being unable to borrow money in the future when you need it.
A bail bond that is paid back will not be reflected on your credit history in a negative way. While it is a challenging situation, in the world of credit reports it is treated as a loan.
You will need to stay in contact with the defendant as a co-signer. This includes reminding them of their court dates, keeping them updated about changes, and even driving them to court if necessary. Co-signers often face difficulties when the defendant fails to communicate, which can make you feel stressed about the role that you volunteered to be in for the bail bond as the co-signer. With that in mind, a relationship doesn't have to be stressed as part of using a bail bond. It can also strengthen a relationship because it shows that you care for them.
For more information, contact a company like Caprock Bail Bonds.