Most people are unfamiliar with bail bonds until they or their loved ones get arrested. At Exit Bail Bonds, we receive inquiries from clients wanting to know more about our services. Among the services we offer people in Riverside, CA, is no money down bail bonds. Read on to understand how we facilitate this type of bail bond.
An Overview on How Bail Bonds Work
One of the ways to be released from jail when arrested is through posting bail. Expect a local judge to set your bail amount during a court proceeding (bail hearing). The judge will evaluate the defendant's ties to the family/community, previous convictions, the severity of the offense, among other issues such as your employment status.
Bail agents come handy when you cannot afford to post bail on your own. After hiring a bail bondsman, you will pay a small fee (premium) for the agent to post the full bail amount. Pieces of information needed when contacting a bail bonds company include:
- The defendant’s full name
- Name of jail the person is detained
- The alleged charges
- The person’s booking number
Once the bail agent receives this information, the defendant’s payments and paperwork will be processed. The agent will only post bail on your loved one’s behalf after you have paid a premium and signed over any form of collateral. The time it will take to secure the defendant’s release depends on how crowded the detention facility is. Making future court appearances and adhering to any conditions established by the bail bonds company is mandatory for the defendant.
What if the Defendant Fails to Make Court Appearances as Expected
The bail bonds company will be required to settle the full bail amount once the defendant does not show up in court. Failing to appear in court or violating bail conditions may result in the bail agent locating the defendant and taking them to jail. You may also lose any form of collateral you signed over with the bond. Bail conditions only take effect during the court trial period and cease to take effect when the trial is over.
Note that you can also seek the services of a bounty hunter to locate and bring the defendant back to custody.
What are “No Money Down” Bail Bonds?
Most bail bond agents will expect you to pay a premium for them to post bail on your behalf or a loved one’s behalf. The premium is usually a fraction (10 percent in California) of the bail amount. Once you pay the premium and sign over any collateral, the bail bonds company will assume the responsibility of the set bail amount.
Companies offering no money down bail bonds do not require you to pay a premium for them to pay your bail amount. However, they expect you to sign over any forms of collateral such as real estate or bank accounts. You also have to meet various requirements before the company agrees to give you a zero down payment bail bond. The conditions may include having an approved credit.
Are There Hidden Fees?
You have to be cautious about the unscrupulous bail bond companies charging hidden fees for their services. You do not have to make any down payment. However, you will be presented a bail bond agreement with guidelines for this transaction. Understanding these guidelines will help you get the most out of this type of bail bond.
What Information is Needed When Seeking the Bail Bond?
A bail bond agent will ask you (the defendant) about your personal details when applying for the bail bond. Providing false information may translate to breaching the terms and conditions established in the bail application form. Most bail bondsmen will like to know how you heard about their company, your full name, date, and place of birth, Social Security number, and current phone numbers. Other pieces of information you may give them include:
- Email address
- Physical description
- Description of your vehicle (if you have any)
- Current residential information
- Proof of residence (phone bill, gas bill or electric bill)
- Proof of employment/work schedule
- Current information about your employer
- Information regarding previous arrests/bonds
Your handwriting must be readable and clear when filing the application form. If the bail bond agent cannot read your handwriting, your details may not be of value. Each piece of information you provide will be used to gauge whether you deserve the bail bond. If any of your details does not check out, the agent may assume that you intend on hiding the moment you skip a court date.
Understanding Collateral in “No Down Payment” Bail Bonds
The most convenient way of securing the release of an individual who was arrested is by offering bail collateral in place of a bail amount. You may consider the bail bond as a loan or form of credit for ensuring a defendant appears in court as scheduled. Bail collateral comes in forms such as jewelry, house, and land, among other valuable assets. Other examples of collateral include bank accounts, personal credit, bonds, stocks, and credit cards.
If you decide to offer a large property item such as your car or house, you will have to place the pink slip or deed of the property in the bail agent’s trust. Bail agents take physical possessions for smaller items like jewelry and keep them securely until the trial is over. Collateral is always returned when any of the following situations occur:
- The court finds the defendant innocent
- All charges are dropped
- The bail amount is exonerated, or the defendant is sentenced
Bail bond companies secure collateral to prevent themselves from incurring any financial losses. They usually hold this collateral for ransom to guarantee that you (the client) fulfill your contractual obligations. The value of items used as collateral should exceed or meet the bail bond amount posted on your behalf. A bail bonds company will have the following options if you skip a court date:
With liquidation, bail bond agents withhold collateral when you skip a court date and cannot be traced, surrendered or apprehended. Provided the forfeiture period has elapsed, the agent will liquidate your collateral to recoup any expenses incurred in finding you. Courts usually mandate bail bond companies to pay various fines when their clients skip court appearances.i
A bail agent may use your collateral as ideal leverage for motivating you or your cosigner for you to show up in court. The agent will advise your cosigner about the potential risks of losing their collateral in the event you go missing. Bail bond companies cannot make any demands or have hostages without collateral.
What are the Conditions for Posting the Bail Bond?
A bail bond agent should be transparent about the exact fees for any bail bond services rendered. The conditions for getting no money down bail bonds differ with the bail bonds company. Most agents expect you to read and understand the terms of their services.
The bail bonds agent will inform you about the bail bonds limits, options for having the amount consolidated, and time for repaying it. You should also be notified about any service fees, interest rates, or other hidden fees associated with the service.
Are there Other Obligations?
The obligations for taking seeking no money down bail bonds are as follows:
- Agreeing to Sign an Indemnity Agreement
An indemnity agreement is the only documents you can rely on to make a bail bond transaction legally binding. Once you agree to its terms, you have to sign this document. This legally-binding document may allow the bail bond agent to withhold your collateral if you breach the terms.
- Communicating Any Changes with the Bail Bond Company
Courts usually impose a fine on parties that post bail in case a defendant fails to appear in the courtroom as requested. Since the bail bond company will be securing your release, it is their right to ensure you appear in court. They should know your whereabouts in the event you miss a court appearance.
- Raising Concerns About the Service
Just like other money lenders, bail bond agents should have reliable customer care teams. You have the right to report any concerns or post questions regarding their services. The company will obligate you to be transparent about any issue you are trying to raise.
- Submitting to Mandatory Check-ins
Check-ins allow a bail bond company to keep tabs on you when you are still in their custody. They help gauge your intent to appear or fail to appear in court. A bail bond agent may use website check-ins to ensure you surrender your IP address (which can be translated into physical addresses). The agent may also combine check-ins such as GPS monitoring and telephonic trap lines to obtain more intelligence about you.
What Type of Benefits Can You Expect When Seeking Zero Down Payment Bail Bonds?
Handling a bail situation by yourself when a friend or family member gets arrested may be difficult for you. No money down bail bonds is designed to make your loved one’s life much more comfortable in this difficult situation. With this type of bail bond, you can reap both legal and financial benefits as follows:
Zero down payment bail bonds do not obligate clients to pay a certain percentage of the bail amount. Once you meet the conditions of the bail bond company, the company will immediately post the bail amount. You get to secure the release of your loved one and save money at the same time.
Avoid Having Your Assets Liquidated
Posting cash bail may require you to make complex financial decisions such as liquidating your assets. Furthermore, settling a large bail amount with cash may raise suspicion regarding your source of finances. An investigation may be launched to evaluate your money source hence slowing down the time it takes for your loved one to be released from jail. Zero down payment bail bonds are less stressful and confusing.
Most bail bond companies understand the importance of maintaining confidentiality with their clients. They can handle your situation with discretion and honesty. Your friend or family member will be released through bail in your discretion. No third party will know about the bail bond contract you signed to secure this release.
A Chance to Prepare for Trial
When you are locked up in jail, your interactions with an attorney may be limited to certain hours. You may find it challenging to prepare for the trial behind bars. When a bail bond agent posts a bail bond on your behalf, you will get more time to meet with your lawyer. You will also find adequate time to find witnesses or explore the various aspects of your case.
Is a Cosigner Needed?
Most bail bond agents require clients to have a cosigner to protect the money used to post bail. When co-signing a bail bond, you will have to sign an indemnity agreement (also known as a promissory note). With this type of agreement, you will be financially obligating yourself to pay the full bond amount in case the defendant skips a court date. Co-signing may involve pledging your tangible property, including homes, cash, or cars.
A bail bond cosigner usually guarantees all bail bond aspects to themselves. They also guarantee a defendant will show up in court every agreed date. Thus, they should help in locating the defendant if a court date is skipped.
Are Credit and Employment Histories Crucial in Bail Bond Co-signing?
Just like how people apply for a loan, the credit history of a co-signer or client is a crucial factor. Bail bond companies believe good credit history is an indication of a person's willingness to honor and respect a financial agreement. The better the cosigner’s credit history, the easier it becomes for the company to trust you.
Bail bond agents consider the employment history of co-signers when facilitating zero down payment bail bonds. They are likely to post bail for a client represented by a co-signer with a steady job history. Bail bondsmen usually want to know whether a co-signer can make payments when a defendant cannot do so. A steady employment history may indicate that the individual has a steady source of income.
What are the Responsibilities of a Cosigner When a Defendant Skips Bail?
A defendant skipping or jumping bail is the same as a defendant failing to go to court. When this situation occurs, the bail bond company will hold the cosigner liable for all costs incurred when locating the defendant (fugitive). If you agree to be a cosigner, you should understand the costs of taking liability in search of a fugitive. The bail bondsman may lower the costs of finding and apprehending the fugitive when you offer any additional help.
The maximum amount of time bail bonding companies have to locate a fugitive before asking the cosigner to settle the bond is usually six months. The clock starts ticking once the defendant goes missing. You may expect the company to request the court for an additional six months if they have made progress in finding the suspect.
Find No Money Down Bail Bonds Near Me
No money down bail bonds proves effective in securing jail releases for friends or family members. Provided you offer us (Exit Bail Bonds) a form of collateral, we will post the bail on behalf of your loved ones. Our strong presence in Riverside, California, is attributed to our speed in processing bonds for clients. Call 951-788-1722 for guidance on our range of services.