While bail bonds help assure that you or your loved one will return to court as scheduled, it is not always the case that the judge will grant bail. Moreover, the court may set the bail amount too high that you will need to seek help from a bail bonds agent to post your bail. Exit Bail Bonds offer 1% down bail bonds for Riverside residents, which essentially means that you only pay a one percent downpayment of the bail amount and the rest is covered by collateral, as discussed further in this article.
Understanding the Term “Bail Bonds”
A bail bond takes the form of a contract between a bail bonds agent and a defendant. The terms of this contract mandate you to appear to the specified court when required.
Your bail amount may vary depending on the type of crime you allegedly committed. All counties in California follow strict bail schedules for every kind of criminal offense. The amount may be set to $20,000 for a less severe offense or $1,000,000 for a more severe crime. Posting thousands of dollars as bail can strain your finances severely. Your best hope for paying this amount is by the help of a surety company.
In California, the specified premium for a bail bond is usually 10 percent of the court-approved bail amount. Though this premium is nonrefundable, you can have it reduced to 8 percent if your lawyer refers you to the agent directly. The bail bonds agent will forfeit your bail money if you do not return to court as ordered. Bail bond companies take strong measures to monitor defendants and find them if they fail to make court appearances.
What Does “Bail Bond Agent” Mean?
Also known as a bail bondsman, a bail bonds agent is an individual, corporation or agency licensed by the state to offer bail bonds to defendants. In the State of California, bail bondsmen take a percentage of your bail amount as their fee (premium). Bail bond agents usually determine whether a prospective client is eligible for a bond.
The CDI (California Department of Insurance) has been regulating all bail bond businesses in California ever since the Bail Bond Regulatory Act was passed in 1937. Only licensed bail bond agents are required to underwrite and issue bail bonds to secure the release of defendants. You can look up your bail agent's licensing information from the CDI's bail bond licensee registry.
Though their line of work may appear risky, bail bondsmen take extra precautions in their work. They require you to post collateral for the bail amount you are seeking. They use the collateral (anything valuable you own) to recover your bail amount if you do not return to court. Apart from losing the collateral, you may face severe consequences for failing to appear in court as ordered by a judge.
A California court sets John’s bail at $20,000, which means John has to pay $20,000 to the particular court to facilitate his release from jail. John relies on a bail bonds agent to post the bail amount on his behalf provided he pays a premium (10% of the amount) and offers collateral (a title deed to his house). He risks losing the title deed to the bail bondsman if he fails to show up in court in the specified date. He can also recover the deed whether he is convicted for a crime or not.
How Do 1% Down Bail Bonds Work?
Bail bond agents earn a commission for posting bail from a premium, which is a fee charged for executing a bail bond. You can negotiate bail bond payment when applying to have a bail bond posted on your behalf. The bail bonds company will require you to be honest and transparent about your current financial position as you negotiate the payment. Exit Bail Bonds can develop an appropriate payment plan to work in your favor.
If you succeed negotiating the bail bond payment, the provider may allow you to access 1% down bail bonds. With this type of service, you will be required to put 1 percent of the bail amount down to obtain a bail bond and pay the balance over time. The provider must evaluate the risk of using their own money on you by considering various factors. These factors are as follows:
- Your criminal background
- The nature of the crime
- Your assets and collateral
- The potential jail time you are facing
- Your financial situation and credit rating
- The bail bond payment method
- Your employment status
How Long Does it Take to Process 1% Down Payment Bail Bonds?
The length of the bail process depends on the jail you are detained, the crime you committed, the bail amount, and the length of your court case. Your bail may be set the same day you were arrested. If the arrest occurred at night or on the weekend, you would have to wait until the next business day when the court resumes for a judge to set your bail amount.
Once the judge sets your bail amount, your release from jail will depend on how fast your loved one contacts a bail bond agency. The company will contact the court or jail where you are being held and post the bail amount on your behalf. The jail officials may take two to ten hours to release you after bail has been posted. You have to be patient with the entire process as you wait to be released from jail.
Advantages of Seeking 1% Down Payment Bail Bonds
Though a bail can guarantee your quick release from jail, the bail amount may be too high for you to afford. Furthermore, bail bonds companies in California charge a 10 percent non-refundable premium on bail bonds, which may be hard to afford. The good thing about a 1% down bail bond is that it offers the following advantages:
Flexible Down Payment Options
One of the main reasons for having a bail bondsman post bail for you is to help get you out of jail when you are financially distressed. You may find the 10 percent premium fee charged on the bail amount too high to afford. One percent down bail bond allows you to only pay one percent of the bail amount as down payment and finish paying the rest later. You can even choose a convenient payment plan based on your needs.
Ability to Speed up the Release Process
In most criminal cases, defendants are taken to jail while they await trial. Instead of spending several days in jail, you can have a bail bonds company to post bail on your behalf. You may be guaranteed a quick release process once you secure a 1% down payment bail bond.
Prosecutors tend to speculate a defendant’s ability to raise a high bail amount quickly. They may end up scrutinizing the source of the money or requiring proof that you earned money legitimately. You can save yourself the scrutiny and attention by taking a 1% down payment bail bonds. With this option, all information regarding the payments made to the bail bondsman will be confidential.
What Rights Do You Have When Taking a 1% Down Payment Bail Bond?
Regardless of the chosen payment plan, you have the right to understand the details regarding your bail bond. The bail bondsman should issue you a promissory note outlining the terms and conditions of the bond. You are also entitled to know the following details:
- The full amount of the bail bond
- Options for consolidating the amount
- The time the payment will be made
- When repayment starts
- The service fees, interests rates and other hidden charges associated with the amount
Before entering repayment, you should understand the average monthly payments you are anticipated to make. You should also know the amount of debt (the principal amount together with the estimated interest) you owe. Other details such as the name of the bail bondsman, where to send the payments, and repayment options are crucial when seeking 1% down payment bail bonds.
What are Your Responsibilities When Taking a 1% Down Payment Bail Bond?
Bail bonds agencies assign you various responsibilities once you benefit from their bail bond services. You will be less likely to default the bail bond payment once you play your roles as required. In the case of one percent down bail bond, you will have to take on the following responsibilities:
Agreeing to Repay the Down Payment Balance
Signing a promissory note may be an indication of you agreeing to repay the balance you on a bail bond down payment. The bail bonds agency will interpret this gesture as your effort to agree to the terms of the note. You must meet the specified obligations as long as your signature is on the document.
Making Payments to Settle the Balance
You should not wait for the bail bondsman to notify you about due payments for you to act accordingly. You must pay the balance even if the company has not sent you any reminders. The quicker you settle the balance, the lesser the financial burden you will have on your side.
Notify the Bail Bonds Agency in the Event of Any Changes
Your bail bondsman will require you to be honest about any changes in your financial situation. Notify the company whenever you change your Social Security Number, address, or name. You should consider explaining the details of these changes to avoid facing legal action for defaulted payments.
Keeping in Touch with the Bail Bondsman
Consider transacting with a bail bondsman known for offering prompt customer support to clients. You will need the support service to have any questions or concerns about the 1% down payment bail bond addressed. Keep the conversations straightforward and professional every time you reach out to the company.
Do You Need a Cosigner to Qualify for 1% Down Bail Bonds?
A cosigner is an adult over the age of 18 who is willing to sign a type of collateral to guarantee your future bail bond payments. This individual will be asked to sign an indemnity agreement highlighting his or her financial obligation to settle the payments if you default. A bail bond company will require your co-signer to pledge tangible property as collateral. The property may include residential units, cars, or cash.
The few bail bond agents that offer 1% down payment bail bonds require you to meet various requirements. The bail bondsman may require you to have a cosigner who is willing to have their property used as collateral until you fully pay off your balance. If your current financial situation does not allow you to pay the 10 percent premium, you will need a cosigner with a credit score of at least 700.
What Your Cosigner Should Know
The bail bonds company will consider the cosigner as an individual helping you to qualify for the bail bond as if it were his or her own. The company may ask your cosigner to show proof of previous bank statements, paycheck stubs, or tax returns. When an individual cosigns the amount for you, he or she will agree to the terms you agreed as the primary signer. Discussed below are the things you should let your cosigner know:
- Their Credit Rating May be Affected
Most bail bond agents make credit inquiries to determine whether a prospective cosigner is suitable for your case. The chosen individual should carefully read the contract and understand the term. The credit rating of your cosigner may be affected if he or she fails to honor their obligation in the event the bail bond amount is forfeited. The bail bondsman may also take legal action against this individual, affecting his or her credit rating adversely.
- The Agreement is Binding Until the Bail Bond Balance is Paid Off
A bail bondsman will expect you and your cosigner to agree to the terms of a particular contract when seeking 1% down payment bail bonds. Once you sign the contract, the agreement is bound by law until you clear the bail bond balance owed. The responsibility of paying the debt will be on your cosigner in case you default.
- The Contract is Enforceable in a California Court
Your cosigner risks being part of a civil lawsuit if the bail bond agency takes legal action against him or her for defaulting the contract. Civil judgments arising from a defaulted contract may negatively impact the employment status of your cosigner. They may also complicate the renewal of professional licenses or result in the seizure of personal property.
- Keep Records of Everything They Sign
Bail bond cosigners are entitled to receive copies of every document they sign when agreeing to secure your bail bond payments. You should ask yours to request these copies for future reference. Record keeping, in this case, helps address any accountability issues that may arise.
Find Immediate Bail Bond Services Near Me
With lots of information being published about bail bonds, most people are being misled on how the bail system works. As explained in this guide, a bail bond is a financial agreement made to secure the release of a criminal defendant. Finding a reliable bail bonds agent is among the crucial steps to having bail posted on your (or someone else's) behalf.
If your loved one has been arrested and you want to safeguard their immediate release, your first call should be Exit Bail Bonds. Our company offers 1% down bail bonds, custom payment plans, and retained attorney discounts without requiring credit checks. We serve jails across Riverside, California. Call us at 951-788-1722 for a free bail evaluation from one of our bail experts.