Is a Co-Signer Responsible for the Full Bail Amount?

Posted on May 19th, 2011 by Tonya Page
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Today’s question comes from Yahoo Answers, where we regularly answer bail related questions: 

Question: If someone signs a bonds paper as a co signer do they really have to pay for the full bail amount if I don’t show up?

Answer:  It is a fact that a co-signer on a bail bond is agreeing to pay the full bail amount  if the defendant does not show up  to court and cannot be located.

In most states, when the defendant doesn’t show up to court as promised, the bondsman and the co-signer have some time to get the defendant back into court. As long as defendant goes back, the co-signer will not pay the full bail amount. They will need to pay only if the defendant cannot be located.

That said, why would you not show up? You certainly do not want to be running from the law — every state has access to warrants nationwide. The reason the bail bonds system is effective is because the bondsman will come looking for you. Between the legal system and the bondsman, it would be best for you to simply go to court. Plus, someone was generous enough to get you out of jail. The least you can do is take care of your situation so they are no longer on the hook.

If you’ve already missed your court date, you can easily arrange a new court date and your bondsman can help. You should call right away.

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