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What Happens If I Cosign For A Bail Bond?

What Happens If I Cosign For A Bail Bond

What Happens If I Cosign For A Bail Bond?

If you cosigned for a bail bond through a bail bonds company, you are then responsible for the full amount of the bail if the person you signed for doesn’t come through with paying for it themselves.

Cosigning on a bail bond is a big risk, here are some things to consider when thinking of bailing someone out…

  • Have they ever skipped bail before?
  • Are they reliable?
  • How much money do they have in their bank account?
  • How much money do they make, do you think they can pay back the loan?
  • Do they have a drug habit? Drug users have a higher rate of not appearing
  • Is the crime serious? Some people think skipping court and hiding in another state is a way to escape, but they WILL get found

Example Bail Bond Cosigner Scenario

Let’s say the bond is $30,000, and you are the co-signer. You pay the bail bondsman $3,000 (10%) to get your friend out of jail until the court date. Your friend doesn’t show up for court and runs. The bondsman cannot find them or they don’t have the money to pay.  The bondsman is not out $30,000. You now owe the bail bonds company $30,000, and they will do everything in their power to collect that $30,000 back.

What Bounty Hunters Will Do If Your Friend Runs

Bounty hunters have a high success rate at finding people, see what bounty hunters are legally allowed to do. The bail bonds company will go after them, their family and friends and workplace to find them and get them to show and put them back in jail.

However, if the person you bailed out cannot be found, the bail bonds company will come after you for the money.  Bail bonds companies may contact you, your friends, family, facebook friends, your workplace and in some cases, end up taking your property as payment in equal amount to the full bond.

Do You Get Bail Money Back If They Are Found Guilty?

If you signed for a bond for someone else and they are guilty, it doesn’t matter. Bail money is for getting someone out of jail until their court appearance. If they show up to their court date and you paid the court the full amount of bail, you will get your bail money back.

If you paid a bondsman’s fee to get your friend or family member out of jail, then the 10% payment you made is non-refundable. See are bail bonds refundable.


Eliot Tynes October 23, 2021 at 2:54 pm Reply

I am about to bail someone out ($10,000) through a bondsman. I know the defendant and I am sure he will appear but if something happens and he skips I fully understand the bail bondsman will come after me for the $90,000. However, I simply do not have $90,000 and my income is below the amount where he can legally attach my income. What happens then (I put up no collateral, I have none)?

Thomas Kane October 24, 2021 at 3:21 pm Reply

Thanks for the question. So actually the 10,000 is the premium and you would be responsible for the full $100k
With that said it would go to court and a judgment against may be the outcome and possible garnishments from that.
All of which is avoided if he can be found prior to judgment on the bondsman for the forfeiture.

Ashley March 6, 2022 at 8:21 pm

Hi my son bail bond was 15k. He got another case and was locked up during the time the judgment was entered. The judgement was still enter for me and a co-signer the co signer paid the balance. And they are still coming after me. Is that legal if the balance was paid already?

Thomas Kane March 7, 2022 at 2:53 am

Bail bonds companies are privately owned with their own set of verbiage in each agreement for a co-signer. You could have signed an agreement stating they can come after if your son skips the court date and runs. If he was locked up again for a different offense, there might be an additional bail for the new offense. Read your contract in full, and then call the bond company for an explanation.

Jamie October 28, 2021 at 9:59 pm Reply

My boyfriends bail is 100,000 but if I pay 5-10,000$ If he goes to all his court dates when he gets sentenced will I get my money back?

Thomas Stinson October 29, 2021 at 5:25 am Reply

Bail is a service fee to a bondsman who puts up the whole $100,000 on your behalf. That fee is almost always non-refundable, even if he makes his court dates. The bail bondsman has had to take a big risk putting up $100,000 and go through the time and effort to help with paperwork and processing. If your boyfriend were to run, the bail bonds company would be out $100,000 and have to find your boyfriend and bring him back to court using a bounty hunter, if he cannot be found then the bondsman is out $100,000. So no, the fee is non-refundable. If you want a full refund, provided he makes his court dates, then you have to give the court $100,000. But if he doesn’t make his court dates and tries to skip town, there is a good chance the court will be keeping your $100,000.

Clarisa Cruz November 28, 2021 at 1:34 pm

As a cosigner am i responsible for paying the bounty hunters fee?

Lc February 14, 2022 at 8:02 pm

I co-signed for a cuzn to bail. He bail was posted and he was released the following day he had court he appeared in court and the judge remainded his bail and he was arrested. The bonds man is attempting to collect 4000 from plus they got 1000 at signing for a bail that is not active anymore. I don’t have 4000. I can barley pay rent and electricity. Not to mention food phones ext,,,

Thomas Kane February 15, 2022 at 12:55 pm

Bail bonds companies are privately owned businesses. Each one has a contract that is a little different. I would call the bond company and request a copy of the contract you signed, then read through it to make sure you know exactly what you signed up for. Usually, in cases like this, the bail bonds company will work with you on payments or make alternate arrangements.

Craig Nelson October 31, 2021 at 8:58 am Reply

I bailed someone out through a bondsman and he skipped court. Bail was $5000 and I paid the bondsman 10% (non-refundable). The court issued a bench warrant and called in the bond and the bondsman collected the $5000 bail from me. Can I collect the $5000 from the person that I bailed out and then skipped? I have a durable POA and am granted all powers. He has the money in his bank account. Can I take the money I paid the bondsman out of his bank account? In other words, is he liable in any way to pay the bail?

Mary Ferguson December 6, 2021 at 4:08 pm Reply

I’m in Texas. I cosigned for someone (a really good friend of mine) because they said he had to have a cosignor and bailed him out of jail through a bondsman. A couple of months later we found out his bond was increased to $20,000 because they enhanced the charges and he was sent back to jail. The bondsman knew his bond was going to be increased because a couple of weeks later they had informed me of this because I had stopped in to drop off a payment and I assume because I was the cosignor and stated they were just waiting on it to get into the system and a warrant to be issued. When I bonded him out his bail was 10,000 for which the bond was 1,000. He talked to the bondsman and they agreed to let him out with just $200 down and he could pay the rest out a little bit every two-weeks, which he did but only being out six weeks he didn’t have time to pay the rest of the money he owed. He still owes them $400. We didn’t bail him out again as he is still sitting in jail waiting to go to court because the bond was so high. The bails bondsman is hounding me for the remainder that he still owes on the bond. I explained to them when I cosigned for him that I didn’t have the money to finish paying what he owed them as i live paycheck to paycheck. If we had known the charges were going to be enhanced he would have never bonded out in the first place. Seeing that his charge was enhanced and a new bond was issued and that he was put back in jail they’re not out any money. If that bond is revoked then why is he having (or rather me being hounded for it) to pay for that bond that was revoked? Like I said we didn’t bond him out again and he is still sitting in jail. Can anybody help me with this or tell me what I can do to get them off my back. I don’t have the money to pay it and I don’t want to go to jail over this.

Thomas Kane December 16, 2021 at 1:55 pm Reply

The bond fee if you paid a bondsman is non-refundable. They took the risk on your friend’s behalf by posting the full amount for them and that fee is a service fee for that risk. So you would have to continue paying the payments, usually. Bail bonds companies are private companies owned by people though, so it never hurts to call and try to ask. Ask for a copy of the bond agreement and read through it to make sure you know what you signed. You can’t go to jail for not paying the bond back as agreed, but they can, if they want, sue you. Most bond companies will work something out with you, they deal with people who are in financially rough situations all the time, just make sure to keep being honest and keep open communication.

Robin December 20, 2021 at 6:38 pm Reply

I cosigned for a bond but the person is back in jail. So doesn’t that make the bail null and void.

Thomas Kane December 24, 2021 at 11:43 am Reply

Almost always, the service fee you paid to the bondsman for posting the full bail amount on your behalf is a non-refundable. It’s a service fee they charge for taking the initial risk and putting up that money on your behalf. Each bond company is different as they are privately owned, so it doesn’t hurt to try and negotiate, but make sure you read the fine print of the contract that you signed so you know what you agreed to.

Odris January 8, 2022 at 10:48 pm Reply

I bail bond my husband 18 years ago and he flee and after a few years later they send me a letter charging me $200.000 and since the time I been pay every month the amount that they put me to paid. But they find him in a jail in another country but they don’t want to bring him here. My question is went they are going to close the case? Do I has to pay that for the rest of my life? If I want to buy a house in the future they can take my house. Thanks you

G Dodd March 3, 2022 at 5:57 pm Reply

My son wants me to co-sign on a bails bond. I can get a loan for the 10%. I don’t want to co-sign nor want him on the loan. Basically I’ll lend him the 5000 and that would be it, I’m going crazy, my husband won’t even talk about it.

Thomas Kane March 6, 2022 at 6:34 pm Reply

Does your son have a history of skipping court or missing appointments? Was it a drug problem arrest? Co-signing might mean the bail bonds company comes after you for the full amount if your son runs and skips court, including calling or showing up to your work, calling friends and relatives, etc… Depending on the situation, the bail might be revoked after he gets out for some reason and he might keep your $5,000. There is also the chance that, depending on the situation, you will just be teaching your son that when he gets into trouble he will just get bailed out, so the reprimand for whatever he has been charged with is low. Amount the money, bail bonds companies are usually able to work with people who have good standing and appear to be reliable and trustworthy.

Anna Thompson March 9, 2022 at 9:56 pm Reply

If a bondsman hires a bounty hunter without notifying the cosigner, can the bondsman make the cosigner responsible for paying the 10% fee from the total bond amount?

Thomas Kane March 20, 2022 at 6:00 am Reply

I would read the contract you signed but generally, if you co-signed, then you gave them the right to come after you to collect any unpaid balance, including using an Agent.

Maya March 15, 2022 at 2:59 pm Reply

If I co-sign for someone (in California) and they refuse to pay the remaining balance owed to the bail bonds company will the balance owed be put on my credit report?

Thomas Kane March 20, 2022 at 5:55 am Reply

Depending on the amount, they may work with you on payments. If it is a large sum and you are trying to avoid it on purpose, it’s usually in the contract you signed that they can use almost any means to come to collect; including sending out agents, calling your work, friends, etc… I would get a copy of the contract you signed and double-check it.

Todd Williams June 15, 2022 at 7:30 pm Reply

If you cosign a bond and they do show up for court but can’t pay the bond off are you still financially responsible for the rest of the bond?

Thomas Kane June 25, 2022 at 5:53 pm Reply

If you co-signed but they can’t pay the rest themselves then yes, you would be the next person they come to collect, however some bond agreements state that the bonding agency can also call other people, like a job, friends, or family. But ultimately, if it is for a significant amount, you are the one (or the defendant) are liable and may end up in Civil court.

Susie Guzman August 12, 2022 at 7:08 pm Reply

I co-signed for in 2017 for my bf at the time. We broke up and now he won’t pay the debt. He’s told the bail bonds reps that he isn’t going to pay because he’s currently not working, which is not true. So it’s being pinned on me. Is there anything I can do to have him pay? Or what will happen if neither of us pay?

Thomas Kane August 17, 2022 at 2:53 am Reply

You will end up having to take him to civil court, unfortunately. You signed a contract saying you would be responsible for paying the bond if he did not. Now it is between you and him only. You can try asking the bail bondsman to hound him for the money and they might be able to do that for you. I believe most bonds companies are closed down in California now so hopefully you can still get ahold of the owner or manager in charge to talk to them.

Richelle August 18, 2022 at 11:55 pm Reply

I cosigned for my ex-boyfriend to get out of jail and he skipped Bond or he skipped Court and the bounty hunters talking about getting a body tag what is a body tag and can they do that and I am in the state of Tennessee

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