Thursday, August 6, 2009

Common Bail Terms

Collateral: something of value either pledged as security or turned over to a bail agent to hold until the bond is exonerated. Collateral could be a lien on a piece of real estate, jewelry, cash or anything of value.

Co-signer or Indemnitor: a person or people who sign a binding bail bond contract with a bail agent stating they will pay any expenses a bail agent incurs returning a defendant to court if they fail to appear. The co-signer or indemnitor is also responsible for paying the bond premium.

Bond Forfeiture: when the court orders the bail forfeited because the defendant failed to appear for court, requiring the bail agent to pay the full amount of the bond to the court. The bail agent then has a certain amount of time to return the defendant to court, or prove that they are deceased or in jail in another jurisdiction, in order to recover any amount of the bond already paid.

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