What to Consider When Cosigning on a Bail Bond
When someone close to you goes to jail, whether they’re family or just a good friend, you want to do everything in your power to help them. Sometimes that means posting bail for them, but if it’s been set too high (or your pockets simply aren’t that deep), you might not be able to. What you can do, though, is co-sign for a bail bond. Before you do that, though, you need to ask whether this is a person you really trust. Because if they decide to run off, you’re the one who’s left on the hook.
Cosigning is a term that makes financially experienced people shy away, because it means they’re essentially putting their money where their mouth is. If your loved one was getting a car, or renting an apartment, by cosigning you would essentially be saying, “I trust him enough to share this financial obligation. So if he doesn’t pay what he’s promised, then I will pay it.”
Cosigning on a bail bond works the same way. Ideally, the person you’re getting out of jail has pledged to pay the bond, and to show up to court. If they don’t follow through on their obligations, though, then you’re the one stuck with the bill. You can’t be forced to serve their sentence or stand trial in their place, of course, but you can be sent the bills they were supposed to pay before they vanished into the night.
There’s Also The Matter of Your Collateral
Another consideration you should think about before you agree to cosign on a bail bond is whether it requires you to put up any of your own property as collateral to guarantee the loan. Collateral often takes the form of something valuable, like a car, or even land. Its purpose is to guarantee the loan, so that if you default on your obligations the same way the person you got out of jail defaults on theirs, the bail bondsman still collects your collateral as a way of making sure he doesn’t completely lose out on this deal.
You Can Terminate Your Support At Any Time
So, let’s say you get your friend out of jail by cosigning on his bail bond. At first everything is fine. He’s making his court dates, meeting with his lawyer, and doing everything that he’s supposed to be doing. But then he starts getting sloppy, and you wonder if he’s going to stick around, or if he’s going to try to run away from his obligations.
Fortunately for a cosigner, you can contact the bail bond company and inform them you wish to withdraw your support. If that happens, the bondsman will escort your friend back to jail. As soon as they’re back in jail, your financial obligations are terminated, and you can breathe easily once more.
Do You Qualify as a Cosigner?
Not just anyone can cosign on a bail bond. You need to have a good credit history, stable employment, and most importantly the resources to qualify. In short, cosigning on a bail bond is the same as cosigning on any other kind of loan; the bail bondsman needs someone reliable willing to step up, and guarantee that this person is going to meet their obligations.
It can be a frightening experience, cosigning on a bail bond. If you’ve never had to do it before, or you still have questions about how the process works, 8-Ball Bail Bonds is here to help. All you have to do is reach out, and contact us today!