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How to Get Bail Money

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Once a defendant has been arrested, a bail amount will be set. Going through a bondsman is the easiest way to “get” bail money. The cosigner on the bond will have to come up with a percentage of the bond – usually 10 percent of the full amount. Depending on the circumstances, a property bond may be issued.

If the defendant has a property bond, and the cosigner owns a home, the home can be used as collateral for bail money. The bondsman will place a lien on the home. Once the defendant completes the court requirements (the case is dismissed or the defendant is sentenced and is put in jail), the bondsman will release the lien on the property. If the defendant skips bail and cannot be apprehended, the bondsman will start foreclosure proceedings.

If the bail is a cash bail, or the cosigner does not have the percentage required by the surety company, the cash must be obtained legally. If the court finds out the bail money was received in an illegal manner, it either will not accept the bail money; or, if accepted, and the court later learns that it was obtained illegally, the court will rescind the bond.

Bail money can be obtained by pawning valuable items – often, a pawn shop will hold an item for a certain amount of time before putting the item up for sale. When the cosigner or defendant gets the bail money back, he or she can retrieve the item from the pawn shop. If there is nothing to pawn, the cosigner can ask relatives and friends to donate bail money.

If the bond is small enough, a cosigner may be able to find a bondsman that will take payments or take the title to other valuable property (other than real estate) in lieu of the percentage required for the bond premium. The cosigner may have to contact several bondsmen before he or she finds a bondsman willing to work with payments or creative financing to get bail money.

If the cosigner has excellent credit, he or she may be able to get a personal loan from the bank to raise bail money. Monthly payments will have to be made on the loan, but the loan can be repaid in full once bail is released, if no bondsman was involved in the transaction. If a loan is taken out to pay the premium on a bond, it will have to be repaid by the cosigner or defendant, since bond premiums are generally non-refundable.

Choosing a Bail Agency

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