Bail Bonds – You Get What You Pay For

Everyone sooner or later has heard the phrase, “You get what you pay for.” This phrase is extremely important in the commercial bail industry as we face new challenges everyday by unethical bail bond companies. We were able to name our competitors in the past, but in the last decade we have seen a flood of bail bond companies in the local market. Our recent inquiry showed over 70 bail bond companies in Orange County, California alone!

The standard 10% percent rate seems to have followed the dinosaurs into extinction. A recent caller shopping for rates told us someone quoted them 2% percent for the bail bond! It doesn’t stop there, no collateral is being taken on high risk bail. The public is being enticed into a bait-n-switch with false advertisement. People are being harassed by unlicensed individuals in front of the county jails while trying to visit a friend or loved one.

What does all of this mean for the defendant, co-signer(s), and criminal attorney on the case? Well, defendants are being surrendered without “just cause” and the co-signer(s) terms and agreement with the bail bond company are now different (bait-n-switch) than originally agreed to causing a conflict to the bail transaction. The unethical bail agent is using “strong arm” tactics to get ALL their money now or threatening to throw the defendant back into custody. The criminal attorney’s work just got harder, having to deal with their client in custody and possibly getting less of favorable case disposition. Hopefully the criminal attorney had not referred the client to the unethical bail bondsman?

The California Department of Insurance regulates the rate of premium and licensing for bail agents in the State of California. The bail bond company transacting bail has a specified rate filing through their surety insurer (insurance company). The standard rate premium in California is 10% percent of the total bail amount. The LOWEST rate premium in the State of California is 8% percent. The 8% premium ONLY applies to individuals that meet the following requirements: attorney referrals, AARP members, and Union members.

Unfortunately, the general public is unfamiliar with the regulated fees and many times are exposed to an illegal bail transaction. Lets face it, most people are not thinking clearly when a loved one or friend was just taken into custody, they want them out as soon as possible. So, they contact a bail bond company and do very little to no research on the company’s standing with the insurance commissioner, public, and professional associations. The circumstances seem to overshadow a person’s rationale or logic if you will. If time is not of the essence, please inquire and investigate with whom you are willing to do business with. The short amount of time spent on your due diligence can make a difference between a good and bad experience.

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