A lot of people are asking how a bonding company and the bail bondsman who work there make money. Some have even asked if this method of earning an income is moral and furthermore, how much they charge the general public to get a defendant released. We’ll cover all of these questions in this post.
A Bail Bondsman’s Services and Rates
Just like any other profession, a bail bondsman charges a fee for their services. When someone gets arrested and incarcerated, however long or short of duration that stay in jail may be, they want to get out and proceed with their daily activities until its time to go to court. In order to be released from jail, they will need to pay bail directly to the jail or get a bond through a licensed bondsman.
The first option of paying the bail outright isn’t something that a lot of families can do on their loved one’s behalf. They just don’t have that kind of money laying around as disposable income.
The second option of getting a bond is a lot more manageable, but even in some cases, the fee that most bail bonds experts will charge are still out of reach for the family of the defendant. In cases like these, a payment plan might be a reasonable way to get the inmate released. However, some bond cases may not be eligible for a payment plan. It will depend on the defendant’s criminal history and the qualifications of the co-signer. In other cases, the individual may not even be eligible for a surety bond and is restricted to a cash bond. That may all change according to the recent news of Atlanta’s mayor putting new legislation into effect regarding Atlanta’s cash bond system.
A bail bondsman’s services cost the bonding company money and a certain element of risk is involved in this particular financial transaction. If a defendant skips town while out on bond, the bondsman must come up with the full bail amount and pay it to the jail in which the inmate was temporarily released. Due to the risky nature of bail bonds, a co-signer must meet certain requirements to show that they are financially stable enough to handle the full amount of bail if it should become due.
Is the bail bonds industry profitable?
Just like in any industry, the degree profitability depends on how the business is run in general. In other words, if the amount of time and resources that a bonding company spends getting an inmate released from jail is less than the financial return, then the bondsman will remain in business for as long as they wish. If too much time or energy is spent on defendants with high risk behaviors or on co-signers who aren’t financially responsible, then a bail bonds company can go out of business very quickly.
Another determining factor is the percentage that a bondsman will charge a co-signer. When figuring out how much a bail bond costs, you should keep in mind that any bonding company in the Atlanta metro area will charge anywhere from 10%-15% based on their own qualifications and guidelines.
Is the bail bonds industry moral in charging so much?
In any business where more of a financial burden falls on a single party, the morality of that business may be in question. However, in the industry of bail bonds, the financial burden rests equally on both parties – the bondsman and the co-signer.