How Do I Negotiate the Price of Bail?

Bondsman MargieAsk the Bondsman, How Bail Bonds Work

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Question from a reader: How do bail bonds work and how do I negotiate their price? If the bond is set at $100,000, 10% would mean a price of $10.000, correct? $10.000 is a very steep price, and I’m worried that most bail bond places wouldn’t cover the amount. Could I work the price down to something around 5%?


The bail bonds industry differs from state to state. California, for example, is regulated by the California Department of Insurance and rates are either 8% or 10%. Discuss with the bondsman what he or she can do for your case.

10% of such a large sum is a lotof money, granted, and this is made worse by the fact that you’re not going to see any of it back — it’s a fee. The risk though lies with the bondsman, and if a client skips court and cannot be located, the bail bond company is obligated to pay the amount to the courts in full. Of course, the bondsman will come back to you for reimbursement.

No two bail bond companies operate exactly alike, and some offer payment plans; some require collateral; some require cash up front. For our company, good credit and financial stability (decent credit, a steady address, proof of employment, etc.) is all you’d need to qualify for a payment plan. You’ll still have to pay the bail bond fee, but it helps to make things more manageable for you.

Have a bail question? Ask the Bondsman.