The Risks and Responsibilities of Being a Cosigner on a Bail Bond
The challenges presented by life have the potential to put you in the unenviable position of deciding whether you should be a bail bond cosigner. The average person has heard of bail bonds in passing. However, most people are unaware as to what the bail bond process is and what, exactly, being a cosigner is all about. Here’s the inside scoop on bail bond cosigning.
Cosigning a Bail Bond: What You Need to Know
Cosigning a bail bond requires the signing of an indemnity contract or a promissory note. The requirement to sign one’s name on such documents is necessary to ensure the entirety of the bond is paid should the accused party not appear in a court of law as scheduled. The accused party is allowed to leave jail after the bail bond is cosigned. The charges against the accused are then resolved in court as scheduled.
Part of the risk of cosigning a bail bond is the pledging of property, be it a house, an automobile, or physical cash. The requirement to pledge property is necessary to guarantee the bail bondsman is provided with the money he or she pledged soon after the accused party’s arrest. It is best to think of the property pledge as an insurance policy of sorts for the bail bondsman, providing reassurance to the court that the accused party will not flee and will also show up to the hearing at the scheduled date and time.
Bail Bond Cosigner Rights
Though there are certainly risks in cosigning a bail bond, those who take those risks also have rights. The cosigner of the bail bond can reach out to the bondsman to formally request the withdrawal of the bond if he or she believes the accused party will not appear in a court of law as scheduled. At such a point, the bondsman picks up the accused party and returns him or her to jail. The bottom line is that it is the responsibility of the bail cosigner and accused party to follow through on the promise to appear at court hearings and meet all bond requirements.
Cosigners are legally empowered to request stipulations prior to the point of cosigning. As an example, the cosigner can request that the accused party participate in a drug treatment program or be subjected to a psychological evaluation. Furthermore, it is also within the power of the cosigner to reach out to the bail bond provider in the event that the accused party skips town, letting him or her know of the suspect’s latest location for processing purposes.
Is It Worth It to Be a Bail Bond Cosigner?
Indeed, in most cases, the risks of being a bail bond cosigner justify the rewards. Though the bail bond cosigner’s risk includes the entire amount of the bond, meaning a breach of that bond necessitates the payment of the bond’s full amount, such an outcome is highly unlikely. Every potential cosigner of a bail bond should be aware that the failure to reimburse a bail agent in such a situation has the potential to trigger legal action in the form of a lawsuit to recoup financial losses.
Alternatively, if the property pledged as collateral equals the value of the money lost, that property will be sold to offset the loss rather than returned to the bail bond cosigner. However, as long as you trust the accused party and are likely to remain in contact with him or her after this unfortunate event, serving as a bail bond cosigner is almost always worth the minimal risk. A willingness to put your patience, time, and property on the line to help a loved one or friend in his or her time of need just might motivate that individual to reciprocate the favor in the years ahead when it is you who needs a helping hand.
Just Bail Bonds Is on Your Side
If you have a friend, family member, or significant other in need of assistance, Just Bail Bonds is here to help. Reach out to us today to find out more about being a cosigner on a bail bond. You can contact us at (817) 303-3400 in Tarrant County or (214) 495-1363 in Dallas County.