If you can't afford to bail your loved one out of jail, you may be able to get the financial support you need by working with a bail bond agent. But before signing any contracts or agreeing to any terms, you should find out all you can about bail bonds so you know what to expect. Here are just a few important questions to ask before agreeing to work with a bail bond agent to get your loved one out of jail:
What Kind of Collateral is Acceptable?
Don't just assume that your vehicle or property is all you can use for collateral when working with a bail bond agent. Many agents accept a variety of different types of collateral. And if you aren't aware of what your options are, you may end up putting something up for collateral that you aren't comfortable with when it isn't necessary. Some types of collateral your bail bond agent may accept include:
Valuable Coins and Metals
Credit Card Authorizations
Your bail bond agent may even accept a promissory note in exchange for part of the collateral, which will allow you to put something of less value up for collateral in the first place.
What Kind of Reporting System is Used?
If a court date is missed or an obligation isn't met, the bail might be revoked and your loved one may end up going back to jail. And in the end you might end up losing your collateral. So you can count on your bail bond agent to want to keep tabs on your loved one once they have been released from jail to make sure that they're taking care of their responsibilities.
Because of this you should take the time to find out exactly how the reporting process works and how the bail bond agent will monitor your loved one. How often will your loved one have to check in with the agent? Can your loved one check in over the phone or will they have to show up for meetings on a regular basis? How much advance notification needs to be given when a change in circumstances happens, such a new job or a change of address?
Once you know what the expectations are, you can make sure your loved one understands them and is willing to meet those expectations after they are released from jail. And you can be sure that you're comfortable with the expectations before agreeing to work with the bail bond agent.