3 Important Terms To Know When Posting Bail For A Friend


It can be difficult to watch a friend get arrested and booked into your local jail. If you want to help your friend out of a tough situation, you may consider posting bail on his or her behalf. Posting bail is a process that most people think they understand until they are faced with the task of securing bail for a friend.

A basic understanding of bail bond terminology will help you better navigate the process in the future.

1. Bail

You may hear the terms bail and bail bond being used interchangeably, but they aren't exactly the same. Bail refers to the cash amount that you will pay to the court or to a bail bond agency to secure your friend's release.

A bail bond is the contract between the bondsman and you stating that you agree to be responsible for the full bail amount if your friend does not appear at a scheduled court date. In return, the bondsman will pay the full bail amount (less the percentage you offer as collateral) to the court to secure your friend's release.

2. Indemnitor

The contract that you sign with a bail bond agency will likely include paragraphs outlining the duties and obligations of the indemnitor. Pay close attention to these paragraphs, because the indemnitor will be you.

An individual in jail needs to have a cosigner that can be held responsible if he or she skips bail in order to secure the help of a bail bond company. The cosigner is referred to as an indemnitor in all official paperwork.

3. Forfeiture

Forfeiture plays a central role in the bail bond process. All of the money that you pay to a bail bond agent should be refunded to you when your friend makes his or her first court appearance. In the event that your friend fails to appear, you agree to forfeit all of the funds you have paid out in addition to being responsible for paying the remaining balance that the bail bond agent covered with the court.

It is important that you only sign a contract with a bail bond agency if you know that you can rely on your friend to make scheduled court appearances. Forfeiture can be costly, and you want to avoid dealing with it at all costs.

The bail bond process doesn't have to be difficult. Make sure that you understand the terminology used by bail bond agencies so that you can efficiently and safely obtain your friend's release from jail. Reach out to a bail bond agent for more information.


30 September 2019

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