Bail bond companies are only too familiar with clients’ stories of how they thought they would never need the services of one… but then they did. Obviously no one wants to have to call, but when your friend or loved one needs help, it pays to have the facts on the whole bail bonds process. St Charles bail bond company has a list of frequently asked questions as a good start.
- Ask if the bail bond company is on the Better Business Bureau list, or is a member of it.
Since they are engaged in business like any other, some bail bond companies do appear in the BBB. Its ratings will reflect the quality of its business with other clients.
From now on, you might find the BBB as a handy reference list to look up businesses in good standing. Make a kind request for credentials before even signing any commitment.
- Get the cost of bail.
Usually, the state pegs or helps set the price for bail. Bail bond companies with consistent performance will charge on average around 10% or up to 15% of the bail.
What are the warning signs to look out for? When a bail bond agent gives you a way too-low figure of, for example, 5%. A very attractive quote is sure to be accompanied by the fine print. In case you still want to push through with this, you will end up stumbling upon so many fees as you approach the completion of your contract.
- Find out the collateral needed for a bail bond.
This collateral is a simple form of guarantee to protect the money to be spent for the defendant’s discharge, and also to make sure the defendant turns up for court proceedings. Some companies offer non-collateral bail bonds but for those who require collateral, some of the commonly accepted collateral are property, jewelry, vehicles, cash, or any possession that is of high value under the defendant’s or bond cosigner’s name.
In case the defendant fails to appear in court, the property can indeed be confiscated and sent off for sale.
- Check the license to operate of the bail bonds service.
Some states require bail bonds service to be clear about their license to operate. One way to verify if the company is in good standing is to look up your agent’s license number and their status in the state’s department of insurance, and how they are with the governing board. If there are any negative issues or bad reviews, those are bound to be on the record.
- Get the agent to estimate timelines for your defendant’s release.
Interestingly, bail bonds agents cannot commit to firm timelines for any release. What is more realistic is that they work on the release and finish paperwork as promptly as possible. Those working in the business for quite some time will have a more helpful time frame which culminates in the defendant’s release. This lengthy procedure consumes both time and effort.
- Listen to the bail bond agent talk about their time in the industry.
This last step is to get insights into how the company has grown and matured. It may also result in hints on how they lived integrity and professionalism in a fast-paced industry that sometimes spirals into protecting one’s interest. Indeed, there are a good number of cases of people entering the bail bonds world just to get rich quick. Skip over these heartaches by picking companies that are respected veterans, with a consistently reliable reputation.