We at All American Bail Bonds decided to write this article after we received similar questions from a group of people we spoke to during one of our question and answer focus groups. The people we spoke to have all bailed out loved ones in the past, some have used our services, others our competition such as Aladdin, Absolute and Lipstick Bail Bonds just to name a few. We took all the questions we received and put together this small blog entry to help address the public’s most important questions on bail.
Why do we have to put up collateral and if we do why do we have to sign a deed of trust?
Collateral is not always required!, Being a larger more active company we have compiled history of good and bad bail. We have found that through proper negotiating we have been able to secure many of our bonds without the requirement of collateral. Many of the smaller bonds we may write will often not need collateral and are written as a “Signature Bond.”
For those bonds that we find are of a higher risk we may require collateral in the form of a pink slip or real property. If real Property is taken we the Bail Bonding Company will require a Deed of Trust, for the deed of trust is how we secure the bond itself ensuring that our investment in the bond is guaranteed.
SIDE NOTE: If a deed of trust has been taken as collateral you are basically putting up a property (home) as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court each and every time. If the defendant fails to appear in court and we, the bonding company, are unable to locate the defendantto get him back to court then you may lose your property to cover the face value of the bond written plus all applicable “bounty hunting” fees or legal cost.
If I put my property up as collateral and a lien is placed on said property, how do I have the lien removed?
Once the defendant completes his/her court obligations and the bond is “Exonerated,” you will be required to go to the courthouse, clerks window and get the exoneration of bond document or a certified copy of the minute order showing that the liability to the bail bonding company has been concluded. It is your responsibility to get the form to your bail bonding company and request for the lien to be removed.
The bonding company will NOT remove the lien until they have received the OFFICIAL verification the bond has been exonerated; also the bonding company may require an additional fee before they can remove the lien, “lien removal fee.”
Once the exoneration of bond has been received and all contractual fees have been paid you will receive a “Full Reconveyance” usually within 30 days.
We at All American Bail Bonds have found that we could send out the reconveyance usually in less than 7 days.
A common misconception we heard within our focus group was the belief that once the bond is exonerated we receive our money back for the bond, this of course is incorrect.
The bail bonding company does not receive its money back once the bond is exonerated and even if the case is never filed the person who guarantees the premium is still responsible to pay the remaining balance until Paid off.
What are the legal percentages that a bonding company may charge and can they negotiate whatever dollar amount that they want?
First of all, the lowest legal limit that a bonding company may charge is based on their surety’s filed rate with the California Department of Insurance. What we have found, here in California, the lowest legal limit is 8%and the maximum one can charge would be 15% up to $10,000, and not over.
For the most part, the maximum you will find will be no more than 10%, if you are charged a greater bail premium than 10% you should contact the department of insurance immediately.
The Bail Bond business is a cash business and and with any cash business you will find “shady” companies.
If you find yourself in need of bail and you come across someone walking around a local jail or court facility offering to “discount” a bail bond, charge less than 8% which is the lowest legal limit, then we advise you to be very cautious and ask for their bail license and the name of their company. What we have found is that there are many individuals around local jail and court facilities who do offer illegal discounts who are not even licensed bail agents and in fact are no more than crooks themselves trying to steal from the unaware or naive.
Never exchange cash in public unless you feel 110% confident that you are dealing with a licensed and accredited bail agent. We are seeing more people trying to steal from clients who are in need of a bail bondsman and are not properly educated on how bail works.
What happens if the person I bail out “fails to appear” and the bonding company is unable to find him/her, the “fugitive?”
In California if a bail bonding company is unable to locate the client within a maximum of 360 days from the forfeiture of the bail bond, the bail bonding company will have no other option but to pay the court the full face value of the bond written plus all applicable court anfd legal fees.
The court will charge additional fees on top of the forfeited dollar amount!
If the bail bonding company is forced to pay the bond amount, plus fees, you the guarantor of the bond will be charged in turn for all fees that you have contractually guaranteed.
All American Bail Bonds has been conducting business for many years and never once have we not received full compensation for a forfeited bond that written correctly.
DO NOT PARTICIPATE IN THE GUARANTEE OF A BAIL BOND UNLESS YOU ARE A 110% PERCENT COMFORTABLE THAT THE ARRESTEE WILL APPEAR IN COURT EACH AND EVERY COURT DATE, OR MAKE DARN SURE THAT YOU CAN FIND HIM/HER.
Now the above four questions might seem like common knowledge to some, but what are home work shows is that the average “good citizen” doesn’t have a real good idea of how this whole crazy bail process works.
To all the bail agents, no.……Bail Bondsman out there, we not only have a legal responsibility to the people that rely on us for the bailing out of their loved ones, we also have a moral obligation to do the “wright thing.”
I, no name necessary, have been writing bail for a lot of years, and I have met any number of good honest bail bondsman, and unfortunately have met more dishonest bail bondsman than honest. I have seen more shady bondsman and more shady going-ons’ and heard more horror stories than I would like to admit. We at All American Bail Bonds as a Bail Bonding Company have made multiple attempts to improve our industry and still have our fingers crossed that we the good guys can work together to rid Los Angeles of all those “bad Actors.” I guess we’ll just keep on trying!!
“Because You Have the Right to Bail”
For General Information on Bail Bonds and how Bail Bonds work or a Bail Bonds Service near you please visit:
For information on jails and courts throughout Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties please visit http://www.citiesweserve.com/