• BailFish.com FAQ
  • Information Collected by BailFish.com
1. What should I know before I contact a Bail Agent?
There is certain information that a Bail Agent will need in order to help you:
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  • Where is the person in custody? Make sure that you ask the person in custody where they are located (City, State and Name of Jail).
  • What is the full name and booking number of person in Jail? The Bail Agent will need this information in order to contact the jail. The Bail Agent can get the booking number for you if you forgot or if it was not available.
  • How much is the bail? The Bail Agent will get this information when they contact the Jail if you do not have it. With the Bail Amount the Bail Agent can tell you the amount it will cost to post a Bond and requirements to get the person out of Jail.
2. How do I get a bond?
There are four way in which a person may be released from custody.
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  • You can use a bondsmen this means that you will pay a fee and need to use some form of collateral.
  • You can post cash for the full amount of the bond with the court or jail.
  • You can use real property (such as a home or a lot) with the court
  • And lastly the judge can decide to let the defendant go on there own recognensense.
3. What is collateral?
Collateral is some property placed within the bail agent's legal control, which may be sold in the event the defendant does not show for the court proceeding. The bail agent can then sell the property to cover the amount paid to post the bail. Essentially, collateral is a way of insuring the defendant will go back to court and complete his/her obligation to the court.
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4. Do I get my money back after the case is over?
There are a few exceptions to this but you do not get you premium back that you paid to the bonding office. This fee is what allowed the defendant to get out of jail and is fully earned once the defendant is out of custody. For example if the defendant gets rearrested a week later you get no portion nor a refund of any money. If the bondsmen fail to live up to his end of the contract then and only then you may be entitled to a refund of some kind.
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5. What if I think the defendant is not going to show up for court after I have posted the bond?
There are remedies that can be done here as well, contact the bondsmen as soon as possible so that they can discuss your option in full detail with you!
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6. Can the defendant leave the state or the country while on bond?
You will have to get permission from the bonding office in writing before attempting to do so. If the court has given you direct instructions not to leave the state or country you must then get permission from the bail agent and the court before leaving. otherwise you are subject to arrest!
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7. Can a Bail Agent discount the fees on the premium?
The rate that you pay a bail agent is set by the department of insurance. There are companies that can legally charge 8%, but for the most part Bail is 10% of the bond amount plus $10 to $15 depending on the company you choose. A company that agrees to discount their fee may have their license pulled by the department of insurance. Some companies try and lead you into believing that you will receive a discount but in the end actually charge you the whole amount. Always ask to see a rate chart if you feel that you are being wrongly charged.
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8. What happens if the case go more then a year?
There are from time to time where a criminal case may take more then a year, and in this case a second premium will be owed to keep the defendant on bond! It may be wise to contact the attorney and try to get a bail reduction in the 10 or 11 month of the case in order to save a costly renewal premium.
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9. What do bondsmen except as collateral?
Each bonding office will have there own standards but, for the most part they will take:
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  • real estate
  • cars
  • credit cards
  • stocks
  • bonds
  • jewelry
  • personal credit
  • bank accounts
10. What do bondsmen except as collateral?
Once the defendant is back into custody the bond can be surrendered and your liability will be terminated. There are a few problems here if you decided to surrender the bond you will lose the premium that was paid, and if you decided to get the defendant out on bond again, you will now have to post two new bonds and pay the premium on both bonds again.
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11. Are some bondsmen less expensive then others?
Bonding Agents are licensed by the state and all have a set rate. Some bondsmen are licensed to write at 8%, meaning that the cost to you the customer will be less but there are certain provisions for this rate.
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