Some common question asked:
What is a co-signer
A co-signer also know as a Indemnitor.
A person who co-signs a bail bond is known as an indemnitor. Bail bondsmen can secure the release of prisoners through a promise to the courts that the bond will be fully paid if a suspect doesn’t show up for court. When co-signing for a bail bond a fee equal to 10% of the bond amount must be paid to the bail bondsman, but this is not where the indemnitor’s liabilities end.
Responsibilities of the Indemnitor
When an individual signs off on a bail bond, they have taken full responsibility for the suspect. An indemnitor is guaranteeing the bail bondsman that the suspect will show up for every court date they are assigned, until all court proceedings stemming from the charge have concluded. This can occur if charges are dropped, sentences are deferred, the accused is sentenced, or if the accused is returned to jail.
Risks for the Co-Signer
There are substantial risks to co-signing a bail bond. The 10% fee is not a risk the indemnitor is taking, due to the fact that the bail bondsman has earned this fee once the bond is posted. The indemnitor must also sign an agreement stating that if the suspect absconds from justice, they are liable for the full bond. This often requires pledging actual property (collateral), to ensure the bail bondsman will get their money they have pledged by way of a surety bond. If a suspect makes all court dates then this agreement is cancelled and only the 10% fee is incurred.
If a suspect absconds (flees), it is in the best interest of the indemnitor to get them back to court. Even if the suspect misses a few court dates the indemnitor is liable for failure to appear fees. These fees increase the longer a person is missing. If the time allotted by the court expires, then the bond may be forfeited and the indemnitor can be liable for the full bond; and may very well lose their pledged collateral.
What is the amount to be paid
The charges and fees associated with bail bonds issued in Arkansas are the same for every company. The state mandates that bail bond companies can charge and collect a 10% premium for all types of bonds that are issued. The only exception is bonds that are valued at $500 or less which will require a $50 minimum.
As mentioned above, in addition to the bond itself, there are certain fees that must be collected with all bonds that are posted which include the following;
- Admin Fee $20.00
- Public Defender Fee $20.00
- State Fee $20.00
- County or City Bond Fee $20.00