Bail bonds are nothing less than a godsend in times of need. When none of your friends and family can come to the rescue, a bail bond agent is your last recourse. The good news is that even if you can’t immediately contact a bail bond agent, you can always call up a friend and get them to sign a bond on your behalf. This will make your friend a cosigner.
If a friend or a loved one has been unjustly arrested in the middle of the night, you have several responsibilities. Firstly, you need to make sure that their family is looked after. Secondly, you need to provide emotional and moral support to your friend. And above all, you must make the necessary arrangements for their bail—in short, cosign a bail bond.
Who can be a cosigner?
Every bail bond needs a cosigner. This means that the defendant can sign a bail bond on their own. Every bail bond has to be signed by three people—the defendant, the cosigner, and the agent.
A cosigner can beany third-party. It could be a family member, friend, or anyone else who’s close to the defendant.
What Are a Cosigner’s Obligations?
As a cosigner, you must bear witness to the fact that at all information provided by the defendant to the court is authentic and truthful. At the same time, any costs associated with the case will fall on you should the defendant fail to appear in court. This means that you will have to pay the full bail amount if the defendant flees.
This is why the cosigner should be closely related to the defendant. Most bail bond agencies carry out proper background checks and only accept a cosigner if they are of the appropriate age and have a sound financial standing.
Some tips and tricks
Before cosigning a bail bond, you need to know that the bond applies until the case isn’t officially dismissed. You will have to be involved throughout the case until the final verdict is reached.
Also, you need to keep track of the defendant’s schedule of hearings. Keep a written record of everything—from the bond itself to evidence of the hearings that have taken place so far.
Some agencies may even take your credit into account. They do this to make sure that you’ll be able to pay the bail amount if the defendant defaults. If they ask for these details, make sure you read through the terms and conditions well. Give them all the information that they need but at the same time, you shouldn’t give the agency any right to alter your credit score without notifying you—if the collateral has to be sold.