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What Role Does a Bail Bondsman or Surety Play?

Many defendants cannot raise the entire amount of the bail. In some states, the court may release defendants after they pay ten percent of the bail bond amount directly to the the local jail or court.

In other states, defendants may arrange for their release through a bail bondsman. In that case, a defendant typically pays 10 percent of the total bail bond and signs over a lien on certain collateral ( car title, house deed, etc.) and/or personally promises to repay the full amount of the bail bond in the event the defendant does not show up to court as required.

The bail bondsman or surety firm representative will then guarantees to pay the court if the defendant fails to appear for trial by posting a surety bail bond power of attorney with the jail or court.

Once the defendant has completed all court appearances and his/her case is closed the bail bond will be discharged and any collateral given to the bail bondsman will be returned to you shortly thereafter.

Note: as an imdemnitor (co-signer) on a bail bond you are responsible for the defendant to appear to court as required. You are also responsible to know the whereabouts of the defendant at all times and to notify the bail bondsman if the defendant has moved. Failure to do so can place your collateral at risk among other things.


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