How to Negotiate Bail Bonds in California

Jul 8 07:09 2010 Lawrence Hemsley Print This Article

When you or someone you know gets arrested and needs to bail out of jail make sure you know how to negotiate the terms of the bail bond.

There are several bail bond companies in California. All these agencies are licensed by the California Department of Insurance. If you look in your local California phone book under "bail bonds" you will see that these companies have a license number located on their advertisement. To see the license status you can go to the web site and put this number in the license look-up section. Due to the rules and regulations of the California Department of Insurance (CADOI) all bail bond companies in California must charge a 10% or an 8% premium for your bail bond. Although all California bail bond companies must charge the same,Guest Posting there is still room for negotiation.

You will not be able to negotiate the bail premium lower than 8%. For instance, if your friend is in jail somewhere in California and his bail is set at $25,000 you must pay 10% or $2,500 to bail him out. However, some of these companies have a special 8% rate filed with the CADOI. In this example, you could pay a lower premium at $2,000 and save yourself $500. In most cases a bail bond company in California will almost always want to offer you the 10% rate. So even though they have an 8% filed rate they will still want to charge you a 10% premium. Therefore the negotiation begins by asking the bail agent on the phone if they have an 8% rate.

The 8% rate holds some conditions which you must understand. Either the co-signer or the defendant must be in the U.S. Military, a Veteran, a Union Member, or must have hired a private attorney. If you can't find a co-singer that has one of these criteria you will have to pay 10% or $2,500 in our example above. However, you can still negotiate the down payment of the bond.

Almost all California bail bond companies accept payment arrangements but you will need to have a down payment. Many of these companies will advertise "No Money Down" but this type of program is reserved for individuals that own a home with equity or for someone who has a great job and credit who can pay the full amount or down payment within 24 to 48 hours. A great job is someone who works as a nurse, computer programmer, engineer, and so on. Actually the job title of the co-signer or defendant will make a difference on the amount you must put down.


With a good job title, which can be verified with paystubs, you can put as little down as 3%. In our example above the down payment would be $750 or 3% of $25,000. When you discuss payment arrangements make sure the balance is interest free. Most bail bond companies in California charge no interest so if you're being charged interest you can find another bail company that doesn't. The payment arrangements can be as little as $200 a month, however, the bail company will want you to pay as much as you can as fast as you can. So a discussion of payment arrangements could start off at $400 every 2 weeks until the balance is paid. So talk to your California bail agent to get the payment arrangements that work for you. The amount of co-signers can be negotiated as well.

For instance, a person currently in a California jail may have several prior arrests so the bail bond company may want two or three co-signers. If you have good employment then ask if you can be the sole co-singer or call another bail company and see if they will accept you as the only co-singer. Sometimes, a co-signer is not available. The person negotiating the bail may not be employed. If the person negotiating the bail is unemployed then he/she cannot be a co-singer. Ask the bail agent if the defendant can co-sign for himself. If the person in jail has a great job, he may be able to co-sign for himself.

Actually a person in a California jail can sometimes end up co-signing for himself with "no money" down. There are numerous advertisements inside California jails for a defendant to call. If he calls and explains that he has a great job and had a credit card in his wallet when he was arrested, he may be able to co-sign for himself. Once the bondsman verifies employment and confirms with the jail that a credit card exists on the books, he may go to the jail and post a bond for the defendant's release. Upon release the defendant will then be required to meet the bondsman, sign the contracts and pay for his bond or down payment.

Other times the defendant may be unemployed but have cash on his books from when he was arrested. In this case, all you would need is a co-signer with a good job. More than likely you will be able to find a bail company in California to post the bond and wait until the defendant is released to collect the payment. There are many situations where you can negotiate with a bail agent for the release of someone in jail.

Remember the parts you can negotiate with a California bail bond company such as the 8% rate, the down payment, the payment arrangements, and the amount of co-signers. If the co-signer or defendant has a limited budget but good employment there is a way to get out of jail fast. Talk to your California bail agent by giving him the circumstances of your situation and he may be able to help you.

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Lawrence Hemsley
Lawrence Hemsley

Lawrence was licensed as a Bail Agent in 1999 and has owned a Bail Bond company in California. He holds a BA in Psychology with a minor in Criminal Justice.

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