4 Things To Inquire About When Working With A Bail Bondsman
When you need to get yourself or a loved one out of jail, most people choose to work with a bond dealer. A bail agent has the authority to help you pay your bail and thus get out of jail. When it comes to working with a bail agency, there are a few things you are going to want to inquire about.
1. Percentage of Bail That Needs to Be Paid
First, you will want to inquire to find out what percentage of the bail you will have to pay to get out on bail. This is referred to as the bond fee. In most states, the state's bond fee is fixed, although some states don't set the bond fee. Find out if there is a fixed bond fee in your state. Around 10% is a pretty standard bond fee.
2. Type of Collateral
Second, the bond agent is on the hook for your full bail amount if you don't show up to court. That is why they will ask for collateral for your bail amount, so if they end up having to pay the full bail, they can recoup the cost from you. What you use for collateral depends on the size of your bail. For a small bail amount, you could use some electronics for collateral. For a larger bail amount, a car title or a home mortgage title are collateral options. Find out what type of collateral the bail agency will accept and what their process is for validating the collateral value.
3. Speed of the Process
Third, be sure to inquire about the speed of the process of getting your loved one out of jail. A bail agent doesn't control when a detainee is released; that is up to the jail. However, the sooner the bail agent takes care of the paperwork and procedures with paying the bail, the sooner they complete their end of the deal, which means the jail can start to work to get the detainee out. Make sure that a bail agent keeps you updated on the release process.
4. Better Business Bureau
When working with someone and exchanging large amounts of cash for a service, it is always good to do your research on the company. Consider looking them up with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for bail bond agencies. See if the company has any pending complaints and what their rating is with the BBB. This can give you a good idea of the quality of services they provide their customers.
When working with a bail bond agency, you will want to find out what type of fees you have to pay and what kind of collateral they accept to back up their bond. Find out how quickly they will take care of their end of the process of getting you or your loved one out of jail and look up their rating with the BBB. Contact a bail bonds agency for more information.