There is an average of over 12 million arrests made in the United States each year.
Finding yourself under arrest can be terrifying. Once in jail, the first thing on anyone’s mind is to get out. But the pathways to freedom and redemption can be daunting at best, and near impossible at worst.
Investing in a bail bond is a frequent practice that helps defendants get out of a cell and back out on the road to redemption. But bail bonds can be costly especially for those coming from a low-income situation.
It can be tough to afford bail, but that’s why bail bondsmen that offer payment plans are so popular. Before agreeing to a payment plan with a bondsman, it’s important that you know what they are and how they work. Read on, and we’ll cover everything you need to know about bail bond payment plans.
How Are Bonds Normally Paid For?
When a professional bail bondsman backs you up, it helps to secure a smaller amount in bail needed for your release. The reputation of the bondsman helps to sway the court in your favor.
In return for this aid in your release, a bondsman will charge a percentage of the bail bond as a service fee. Traditionally, it is 15%, but it can vary from bondsman to bondsman.
When it comes to paying bonds, there is more than one way to go about it. Money, of course, is always accepted as a form of payment. Some bail bondsman will also accept jewelry, vehicles, property and other forms of collateral that ensure you have the resources needed to pay. Documentation will be required in conjunction with collateral that is submitted.
This collateral then will be returned upon completion of the case and when all financial obligations are filled.
Bail Bonds Payment Plans
Even this smaller fee can be difficult to pay off for some individuals.
That’s why some bail bondsmen now offer payment plans to their clients. Payment plans can offset the difficulty of paying costly fees and can aid individuals who may not be as fortunate economically.
These payment plans may take the form of wire transfers, checks, credit cards, money orders, or related payment methods. Different bail bond companies will have different financing options. Each specific case will involve circumstances unique to them, which is why it’s important to discuss with a bail bondsman before signing anything.
Determining Down Payment
A number of factors go into determining what the proper down payment might be for a particular case. First and foremost, the bail amount quoted by the court will have the biggest impact on the size of each down payment.
The larger bail requested, the larger ones down payment will be. This is just logical. Judges decide bail amounts based on a variety of factors, and the bail requested will vary on a case by case basis.
But certain information about a defendant can also affect how much of a down payment they’ll need to provide each month. Proof from an individual that they can offer payment on time can affect the amount of payment itself.
One’s credit score, employment record, and living situation can all help to determine the down payment needed when establishing a bail bond payment plan.
Because exact costs and fees will vary from company to company, it’s important that you ask all the necessary questions up front. The down payment and further payments that will be required should be abundantly clear.
Co-Singers For Payment Plans
Credit can be very important in securing a bail bond and payment plan. Those with poor credit should consider having a family member or friend who has good credit co-sign to ease the process.
Co-signers are also typically required to meet a number of qualifications. A proper co-signer will have held the same job for at least twelve months, own an open checking account, and have a salary of at least $2,000 a month. Most bondsmen will also require co-signers to be at least 21 years of age.
Co-signers to a payment plan do not technically have to pay a bondsman anything, as long as the defendant they are co-signing for is able to pay their payments each cycle. It is a co-signer’s duty to hold the defendant responsible for their payments. They will be liable for payments not made by the individual they are co-signing with.
A co-signer’s responsibility doesn’t end with a payment– they are also responsible for ensuring the defendant shows up for their court dates and trial.
Other Payment Plan Information
It is crucial for individuals to remember that all individual payment plans are subject to approval. Approval may be determinant on a variety of factors and is not guaranteed for any party. Additional collateral also may still be required to protect the total amount of bail set by the court.
Prior arrests or charges made out of the country may prevent certain individuals from receiving low down payment rates.
Find The Right Payment Plan
In tough times, an arrest can be a financial burden that many can’t handle. The availability of a financial plan can help ease a difficult situation and make paying off your bail as easy as possible. Bail bonds payment plans are an important service that bondsmen can and are providing to help those in need out of a difficult situation.
Have more questions about bail bonds or payment plans? Feel free to contact us anytime for any information you may need.