the common misconception is that we the bail bondsman have the ability to negotiate below the legal percentage rate set by law, the set rate that all bail bondman are required to charge. The legal percentage in California is no more than 10% but no less than 8% under certain restrictions.
Below are some common questions are client services receive and the appropriate answers.
Q. I called another company who said they charge 3%, why are you charging more?
A. What that company is doing is illegal, it's better known as bait and switch. What their trying to do is get you in the front door and than they drop on you your remaining balance of 7% more. Not cool, but we get this complaint often.
Q. Why can't you charge what ever you want?
A. We as bail bondsman are licensed bail agents AKA Insurance agents licensed through the department of insurance. The department of insurance dictates by law the legal limits of a bond, bail or other, may cost. If a company charges less than the legal limits they are not only breaking the law but also performing in a matter in which you should question their integrity.
Q. What is the Zero Down Bail Program and how much interest do you charge.
A. The Zero Down (No money down programs) are normally based on the guarantee given through the indemnitor. What this means is basically we look at the financial stability, of the indemnitor, such as job history, credit, or even collateral.
As far as interest is concerned, it is illegal for a bail bonding company to charge more than the set rate, such as interest. We as bail bondsman are not a finance company.
Please Note: A Bail Bonding Service can legally charge additional fees such as "agent fees" for travel, notary, or any additional service in addition to their jobs as bail agents.
Personal Note: The additional fees are highly Negotiable, due to the nature of our competitiveness. If you ask, many of these fees may be waived.
Q. What is the lowest legal rate for a Bail Bond?
A. As per Proposition 103 the lowest legal rate that any one Bail Bonding company can charge is 8%, anything less is ILLEGAL.
Please review the California Department of Insurances web site for their definition.
Q. What if I don't pay, What will happen?
A. The department of insurance has ruled that bail bonding company's can no longer revoke bond when any portion of the bail bond has been paid unless full refund has been given. In other words, non pay of a bail bond turns into a civil matter and if the company revokes the bail bond than the client may be entitled to full return of bail premium.
Please Note: This is a very tricky situation, We at All American Bail Bonds Corporate have a strict policy against the revocation of a bail bond for non pay, but I have had other people tell us that it happened to their loved ones. The bail bonding company isn't going to say they revoked the bail bond for non pay, their going to make up some of other excuse as to why they performed in the manner they did. If you find yourself in the position of a revoked bond, with no just cause, than you have the right to have the bondsman come to the court and explain his or her actions. Ask your attorney for more information on how to get the bail agent into court.
If you find yourself in a position that you require advice from a bail bondsman please give us a call. You can reach one of our Professional, Licensed Bail Agents 24 hours a day at 866-743-8688.