For many people getting a bail bond the first time is often the most difficult and covering the full amount of bail on your own can put a serious financial strain on your loved ones. If the judge awards you or your loved one bail, don’t struggle to come up with the money you need, just work with an experienced bail bonds company to get your release processed as quickly as possible. It’s always better to make an informed decision. It is far better to do a little research than to sign a contract and find out you don’t have the right bondsman for your situation. Take the time to inform yourself and save yourself the hassle later on. Usually, to decide on a company to go with and put your trust with, all you need is a good sense of judgment. How can you make a decision on a bail company when most of the time you will only be speaking with them on the phone, emailing them, or faxing them? By asking a few questions.
Meanwhile, while your loved one is in jail, you don’t have much time to interview every bail bonds company you come across and you need some good questions to ask before making the best decision on which bail bond company to move forward with. Just remember that you are going to entrust this company with getting your loved one out of jail and you’ll usually be making a decision within a five-minute phone call.
So, asking the right questions before finishing the transaction can be very reassuring. If you are posting bail for a friend or loved one, ask these questions to help you get through the process.
What percentage do you charge for a bail bond and why?
A reputable, licensed bail company will usually charge 10 percent. If the bondsman you are speaking with starts mentioning discounted bail at 5 percent and they are overselling this aspect of a deal, just beware. If they are cutting corners here, they’re probably cutting corners in other important places as well.
- Will you help me understand the bail bond process?
The bondsman should reply with a “yes.” If the company knows their industry, they will understand that most of their potential clients will know nothing about the bail bond industry and therefore education is needed for a few reasons. One, to make the sale of course and two, bail bond companies need their clients to understand the process as much as possible. This will help when dealing with expectations throughout the entire process. The more the clients know and understand, the smoother the process will go and both the client and bail company will benefit.
- Are you licensed?
This is an obvious question, bail bondsmen have to be licensed. Therefore, all California bail agents have to be licensed and regulated by the California Department of Insurance (DOI) are required to conduct business in a manner meeting all rules and regulations set forth under the California Insurance Codes.
- Is your bail company listed with the Better Business Bureau?
You will find that not all bail bondsmen are with the Better Business Bureau. A company usually gets listed on BBB to appeal to the public. BBB is an organization that was created to protect the rights of consumers where consumers can satisfy their need for finding a trustworthy company. You can do some research to find if the bonds agent has had complaints before doing business with them. You can also find out what their rating is and see if there are any major complaints about the bail company and make sure this all matches with what the agent you are speaking with is telling you.
- How fast can you get my friend or loved one out of jail?
Bail bondsmen can control when they get their portion of the release process complete, but what they can’t control is the jail system. Jails operate on a safety-first basis. The flow of the people and the processes are oftentimes slow and unpredictable at best. With that being said, an experienced bondsman will be able to know each individual jails’ normal processing times.
When you pose these questions to your potential bail bondsman, you will be able to determine if the bail bond company is the right fit for you.