Sometimes a person in jail needs a bail bond but even the 10% cost of their bail isn’t financially feasible.
Does this mean they’re stuck in jail until their first hearing? In some cases, yes, but in most, a co-signer comes to the rescue and puts their credit on the line to help out a family member or friend.
If you have a loved one in jail and they’ve asked you to be a co-signer, here’s everything you need to know about co-signing on a bail bond.
What is a Co-Signer?
A co-signer is the ultimate symbol of good faith. As a co-signer on a bail bond, you are vouching that your relative or friend will attend all scheduled court dates during the legal process.
Co-signers also help take on the financial responsibilities of a bail bond, but more on that later.
Are You Eligible to Be a Co-Signer?
Typically, a co-signer is a family member or close friend (i.e. spouse, parent, co-worker, long-time friend). A co-signer doesn’t even have to live in the same state to qualify for this title.
As long as someone meets the following criteria, it’s likely that a bail bond company will allow them to co-sign on a bail bond:
- They have a good credit history and can make payments if a bondsman seeks them
- They have a steady income
- They are fully prepared to take on all responsibilities involved as a co-signer
Co-signing is a show of good faith that comes with many responsibilities. In most situations where a person pays for their own bail bond, they are responsible for attending all court hearings and meeting all requirements that come with the bail bond.
If someone fails to hold up their responsibilities, their bail bond is revoked, they are usually taken back into custody, and they also have to pay back the bond in full to the bail bond company.
As a co-signer, you are the responsible party. You must pay the premium and all associated fees surrounding the bail bond.
It’s also your job to make sure your friend or family member meets the requirements of their bail bond and release.
If they do not, you won’t go to jail, but you are responsible for the complete repayment of the bail bond.
Before You Sign…
Co-signing a bail bond is a massive responsibility. While you may love your friend or relative, remember that co-signing is a choice, and you should always consider the following before accepting this role:
- Your relationship with the defendant
- Your financial background
- Your understanding of the documentation
What if You Have a Bad Feeling After the Fact?
Even if you’ve co-signed and later feel like the defendant may skip bail and leave you with the bill, you have the right to revoke the bail bond.
If you meet with the courts and bondsmen and revoke the bail bond, the defendant returns to jail until their hearing and you are no longer financially responsible for the bail bond.
Simplify Co-Signing at 1st Call Bail Bonds
If you have questions about co-signing a bail bond 1st Call Bail Bonds has your answers. We are open 24/7 and can help you understand your responsibilities for bail at any cost.
Contact us today to start the bail bond process.