Being the cosigner of a bail bond is a huge responsibility. The truth is that no matter how much you care about the defendant, if you are not financially stable enough or do not trust the defendant enough to keep his or her word, you shouldn’t be a cosigner. Here are the responsibilities of a cosigner:
- You are responsible for making sure the defendant appears at all court appointments and meet any other bail bond/ release terms and conditions.
- You may have to pledge collateral for the bail bond. This is typically property, vehicles, and valuables.
- You can request some stipulations, such as having the defendant undergo a health evaluation or treatment program, for example.
- If the defendant skips court, you are responsible for paying the entire bail amount. Your collateral will be taken.
- If you know where the defendant is when he or she has skipped court, you must contact the bail company so they can go get them.
If the defendant betrays you, this is a huge loss to you. Thankfully though, cosigners do have certain protections:
- If the cosigner believes the defendant will skip court, he or she can request to have their name taken off the bail bond. The bail bond will then be withdrawn and the defendant will be picked up and returned to jail.
The defendant may accuse you of betraying them in this manner, but this is just protecting you – they would have betrayed you otherwise.