What Happens When You Don’t Pay the Bondsman?

The outcome if you don't pay your bail bondsman.
Thinking about not paying your bondsman?

So, you’ve just got your friend or loved one released on bond with a payment plan, but what happens when you don’t pay a bondsman for that installment plan? There are several things that could happen, which we’ll get into in this post. However, what you’ll most likely run into is that your collateral will be collected and sold when you default on your payments to the bondsman. Furthermore, your credit will take a hit as the bond amount will then go into collections. What’s more bothersome is that the bond might even get revoked and the person who you got released from jail may end up right back where they started.

There’s only a couple of reasons we can think of that anyone would miss a payment or decide not to pay their bondsman.

The first is simple logic: they can’t afford it. In this case, we highly suggest that the person contact the bonding company immediately so that it doesn’t go to collections. A lot of financial hardship can be alleviated by just being honest with the bondsman when a person can’t pay the full amount that’s due.

The second reason someone wouldn’t pay their bondsman is that they have a pretty good idea that the defendant isn’t going to show up for court, so they figure, “why bother?” This is the wrong type of thinking to adopt. This can and will cause a lot more trouble for the individual than they realize. See the list of consequences below for not paying the bondsman the amount due on the scheduled payment plan.

Here’s what happens when you don’t pay a bondsman:

  • You default on the financial agreement between you and the bondsman or bonding company.
  • Any collateral you put up along with your initial payment gets confiscated and sold.
  • Your credit score takes a huge hit.
  • The remaining balance of the bond goes to collection agency and they’ll come after you.
  • If no payment arrangement can be made, the bond will get revoked.
  • A warrant goes out for the defendant’s arrest.
  • The inmate will wait in jail until their court date AND you’ll still be responsible for the bond amount.

Bail Bonds Are a Financial Obligation You MUST Pay

By becoming a cosigner on a bond, you are now responsible to not only make sure that the defendant shows up for their court dates, but you also become the guarantor of the bond. This means that if anything should happen that leads to the accused failing to appear for court, you assume the financial responsibility of the full bail amount, and not just the amount of the bond. Therefore, its really in your best interest to let the bondsman know if the person isn’t going to go to their court date. You can revoke most bonds in Georgia and the bonding company will put out a warrant for the person’s arrest. They will then wait in jail until their court date.

Bail Bonds and Your Accountability

The purpose of bail bonds isn’t to just make life easier for an inmate. The purpose of a bond is to allow the person out of jail so that they can continue to fulfill their daily responsibilities i.e. work, childcare, school, etc. There is also an essence of accountability to show up for court. By signing on the bond, the cosigner now has shared the risk of any potential Failure to Appear. Yes, bail bond companies are profitable, but not so much that they won’t go after money that is owed to them.

So, if you can’t afford the payments call your bondsman. If you think the defendant is going to skip bail, call your bondsman. What happens when you don’t pay a bondsman could be just as bad as the person not showing up for court. Either way, there are big penalties for not paying.