The fee bail bond companies can charge for their services is set by state law, which means they cannot charge any more or less than the limit set by the government. If they do, they could lose their licenses. So it may be very confusing to pass a billboard or see a commercial for a bail bond company advertising no money down bail bonds. Here's the lowdown about what these ads are really selling.
Just Another Term for "Payment Plan Available"
When a bail bond company says it has no money—or 1%, 3%, or 5%–down bail bonds available, what they're really saying is they have payment plan options available for people cannot pay the entire bond premium at once. The bail company may only require you to put up a portion of required payment—or none at all—upfront and have you sign a contract agreeing to pay the balance at a later date or over time.
For instance, if the bail bond premium is $1,000 and you qualified for the company's 1% payment program, you would only have to pay $100 at your first meeting and then the remaining $900 later on.
This setup is perfectly legal. The government only requires bail bond companies to charge you the premium percentage set by the law. There's generally nothing on law books that says you can't pay the premium in installments. In fact, if you're short on cash but need to get yourself or someone out of jail, it's a good idea to call around and find a bail bond company who offers this option.
Qualifying for the Payment Plan
These payment plans are not available to everyone. The bail bond company representative will interview you to determine if you're a good fit for the program. In general, you're more likely to be approved if you have decent credit, are employed, and have never bail jumped before. The company may also be willing to agree to a payment plan if you have enough collateral to cover the bail amount if you or the defendant does something to get the bond revoked (e.g. violate the terms of release).
Be aware, though, that the bail amount, the criminal charges levied against you (or the defendant), and your flight risk will also factor into the company's decision.
To learn more about no money down bail bonds or to get yourself or your loved one released from jail, contact a local bail bond company.
Hello, I'm Christina Miller. Have you ever been fascinated with why the law works the way it does? Ever since I was in junior high, I had an intense interest in anything related to our legal system, whether it be a crime drama on television, a judge show or a legal case covered on the news. I followed it all. As time progressed, I began learning about how the actual legal system worked and not just the fictionalized version of our legal system. This has lead me to start writing my own blog posts about law that I hope will help others.