4 Things To Look For In A Bail Bonds Company
Most people don't think about the details of bail bonds services until they or a loved one has been arrested. There are thousands of bail bonds companies available, and it can seem daunting to sift through their qualifications when you're already in a stressful situation. Here are some suggestions of what to look for in a good bail bonds company, so you can get your bail bond and get back to living your life.
Bail Bonds Prices
First, you'll want to know what the cost of bail bonds are in your area. Bonding agents should be licensed and regulated by the state in which they practice, so their prices will largely be determined by local jurisdiction. Las Vegas bail bonds are going to be priced differently than a less populated area, for example. States regulate the allowable bail premium, which is usually a percentage of the bail amount. This online list of different state regulations can give you an overview of what to expect from your local bail bonds services. Most states have a general clause stating that rates should not be "excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory." Remember that many states' premium rates are set by the Department of Insurance for the protection of those trying to purchase bail bonds. Other states such as Massachusetts and Wisconsin do not allow private bail at all.
Like any loan, bail bonds companies often require collateral for bail. Ask the companies you're considering what types of collateral they accept. Common examples of accepted collateral include real estate, vehicles, stocks, bonds, bank accounts, or personal credit. In some cases, bail bonds companies will also accept credit cards or personal valuables such as jewelry as alternative collateral. The type of collateral you have may determine which bail bonds services you will be eligible for, so it is best to know in advance which forms are accepted.
As stated earlier, bail bondsmen should be licensed to sell bail bonds in their state. These trained professionals should be knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the bail bond process and be able to take the time to explain it to you, the client. If your questions are being met with evasive answers or you're feeling pressured into a deal without knowing the details, beware. Helpful bail bonds agents should understand that most of their clients are not familiar with the bail bonds process. They should be willing to take the time to walk you through how your bail bond agreement will work and answer any questions you may have before you agree to it. After all, it is both to the client's and the company's benefit that everyone understands the process and how to move forward.
Availability and Response Time
Because the need for a bail bond is hardly ever scheduled in advance, you'll want a bail bonds company that is available whenever you need it. For this reason, many companies are open 24 hours per day, 7 days per week, so that clients can always get in touch when necessary. Some people may not have time to drive to an office to be interviewed and buy a bail bond. Many companies are able to sell over-the-phone bail bonds to provide quick and convenient service to their clients. Ask your bail bond agent what the best method of communication is and where they can be reached quickly. Bail bonds companies should also be able to give a reliable estimate of when their portion of the release process is complete. Bear in mind, however, that the bail bonds service does not control the jail system, so it may take the jail longer to complete the release after bail is received. All the same, bail bonds companies should be familiar with the average wait times of the jails in their local area.
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