If a friend or loved one has been approved for release from jail with a bail bond, someone will need to co-sign and pay for the bond. When you are the person who is going to co-sign you should keep in mind that while you are helping them be released from jail until their next court date, you also have a lot of responsibility as the co-signer (indemnitor). Below you will find five important things to know about signing for a bond.
The Indemnitor of the Bond
As the person who is signing the bond, you are also known as the indemnitor. The bail bond company will have you sign documents that are promising the person is going to show up for their court date after being released from jail. Furthermore, you are promising to pay the bond money at a later date after paying 10 to 15 percent of the bond amount before signing the papers.
Responsibilities of the Indemnitor
As the indemnitor of a bail bond, you are agreeing to quite a bit and have a lot of responsibility. By signing the documents, you are promising that the person will show up for their court date, that they won’t run to another state or country, and that the bond will be paid back in a timely manner. As the person taking responsibility, you could be the one liable for legal consequences if one of these does not occur. You may get refunded for the bond if the charges are dropped.
Risks of the Bond Co-Signer
Not only are you taking on all the responsibility when signing the bond, you are also taking on a great deal of risks. You are signing a legal document stating the person being released is going to show up for their court date and can be held accountable if they don’t. You may also be putting up collateral for the bond, such as your home, to show the bondsman will get their money back if you don’t pay the bond money back after the sentencing is complete. There are many risks to being the co-signer that you should be aware of.
Stipulations of Co-Signing
Because of the responsibilities and risks of the indemnitor, you can also make certain stipulations before signing over the bond. This may include requiring that the person released from jail attend a drug treatment program, get a mental health evaluation, or other stipulations. You are making these rules both to the bail bondsman as it is written in the contract, and to the person being released from jail. It is up to you to deny signing the bond until these terms are agreed upon.
Canceling the Bond
You also have the option of canceling the bond with the bondsman if you feel like the person released isn’t living up to their end of the bargain, are continuing to do illegal acts, or aren’t following your rules and stipulations.