Cosigning a bond essentially means adding your name to the bond alongside the defendant. If the defendant doesn’t show up to required court dates, the cosigner will be responsible for the cost of the bond. Although you may think there’s some sort of benefit to cosigning or reimbursement, there really isn’t. Cosigning is simply a good deed you can do to help out a family member or friend who’s in need of help. In this blog, we’ll take a look at the top things to consider before co-signing on a bond. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact our bail bond agents here at Break Free Bail Bonds.
Once You’re On, You’re On
First and foremost, you should know that once you’re on as a cosigner, you’re on as long as the bond lasts. Whether the case lasts a week or two years, you will be responsible for the defendant appearing at all court hearings. There’s no way to simply “get off the bond” unless the defendant is in jail and the bond is exonerated.
Just like cosigning a car loan or apartment, you are agreeing to pay the dues in full if the primary borrower does not meet their obligations. But that doesn’t just mean the bond itself, it also means any costs associated with retrieving the fugitive like the cost of bounty hunters, travel expenses for defendants who have left the state, and in the event of forfeiture, you are also responsible for the full amount.
They Need To Be Renewed
Similar to the insurance on a car, bail bonds need to be renewed every year. Although it’s uncommon for bail to last over a year, if it does, you will start paying a premium on the bond. You will have to regularly monitor the defendant to ensure that they are making payments on time or else you will have to make them.
Your Bondsman Needs To Be Able To Contact You
Being a cosigner isn’t a “set it and forget it” kind of thing. You need to make sure that your bondsman has your up-to-date contact info so that they can reach you at any time. If they aren’t able to reach you, you may be responsible for added fees or legal issues.
Read The Contract
Ultimately, the contract and your bail bondsman will be the best resources for you moving forward. If there’s something on the contract that you don’t understand, it’s best to have it clarified by your bail bondsman before signing anything.
Break Free Bail Bonds aims to be your top resource for all things pertaining to bail bonds. We offer bail bonds in Oklahoma City and would be happy to assist you if you have any questions about being a cosigner on a bond. Give us a call today to get started.