Most people go their entire lives without being asked to help get a friend or family member out of jail. If you have never been asked to hire a Temecula bondsman before you probably do not know what to expect or where to begin. The good news is that bail bonds professionals are nothing like what you have seen in the movies. Hollywood often portrays these people as being shady, biker-type individuals who hang out all day smoking cigarettes and throwing darts. That could not be farther from the truth.
Everyone who negotiates, transacts and posts bail bonds is required to be licensed through the Department of Insurance. They need to participate in ongoing training and are required to take additional classroom hours each year. Some companies only hire people who have college degrees. The bottom line is that a Temecula bondsman is a highly-trained professional who knows what needs to be done to get someone out of jail fast. They can explain how bail works and will be able to walk you through the process from start to finish.
When you begin calling around you will soon find that the cost to hire a bondsman will be 10%. This is something you will hear no matter how many companies you call. That fee is set according to state law. It is against the law for someone to sell bail bonds for more or less than the legal rate. Some companies will advertise 2% or 5% bail bonds as a means of getting people through the door. When the client sits down they quickly learn that the discount percentage actually refers to the amount of money they will need to put down if they want to move forward with a payment plan. The full 10% will still ultimately apply. This type of deceptive advertising is both unfortunate and seedy.
If you have begun the process of hiring an expert bondsman there are a number of questions you will want to ask.
- Does the person you are speaking with hold an up to date bail license?
- How long has the company been around?
- Can they help you during off hours including nights, weekends and holidays?
- Do they offer payment plans?
- What are the eligibility requirements?
- Can they still work with you if your credit is a bit shaky?
- How much will they require as a down payment?
- Will you need to pay the full balance within a year, or can they be flexible with the term?
- Will you be charged finance fees or interest?
- Do they offer bail bonds by fax and email?
- Are you going to be required to meet with someone in person to fill out paperwork?
- Can that person be sent to your home or office for added convenience?
- Is the company accredited through the Better Business Bureau?
- Do they have a Yelp page? Have people posted reviews?
- Can they help you if you are calling from out of the area, or if you are in a different state?
- What forms of payment do they accept?
- Will they only take cash or can they process payment via debit or credit card?
- Are you going to be required to post collateral?
- What forms of collateral do they take?
Lastly, you will want to get the sense that you can trust the person who is helping you. Needing to get a friend or loved one out of jail can be a very stressful experience. The process of hiring a Temecula bondsman should not have to be.