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What is a Surety Bond?

If you’re trying to get a loved one released from jail as quickly as possible, then you are likely researching bail bonds. There are many terms and definitions related to bail bonds, and they can be difficult to understand. One of these terms is “surety bond.” As experienced bail bondsmen, we are often asked “What is a surety bond?” In today’s blog post, we’ll take a closer look at what a surety bond really is, and how it benefits you.

What is a Surety Bond? 

Simply put, a surety bond is a contract between three people. These three people are: 1). The Obligee, 2). The Principal, and 3). The Surety. Let’s take a look at these three parties in order to understand their exact roles:

The Obligee: The entity who is receiving the obligation who will be benefited by the contract. In the case of bail bonds, this is the government or arresting agency.

The Principal: The person who at the center of the contract, and who it is for. In the case of bail bonds, this is the defendant.

The Surety: The entity who assures the obligee that the principal can pay for and perform the terms of the contract.

Surety Bonds = Bail Bonds

Obviously, this is still a bit confusing. So, let’s break it down even further and apply surety bonds directly to bail bonds. When a person is arrested and bail is set, they must pay this amount in order to be released. Often, the bail cost extremely high, so the services of a bail bondsman are needed. A contract is created between a co-signer (acting on behalf of the defendant) and the bail agent. The bail bondsman writes a surety bond – they agree to be responsible (through protection of a bail bond surety company) for the full bail amount if the defendant skips bail. In return, they collect a nonrefundable fee (usually 10-15% of the full bail amount). In many cases, the bail agent requires collateral such as jewelry or property as well as the fee for their services. If a person skips bail, the surety company (insurance company) must pay the full bond amount. The bondsman is then responsible for repaying the surety company. Often, they attempt to recover the money they lost from the co-signer on the bail bond – usually a family member or friend of the defendant. In some cases, they track down the defendant and return them to law enforcement, which is where the term “bounty hunters” comes from.

Surety Bond – Bail Bonds: Get Out of Jail Fast

When it comes right down to it, you don’t really need to fully understand all the details. If you have a loved one in jail and you want to get them out as quickly as you can, the best option is to contact a bail bondsman. They’ll write a surety bond and your family member will be out of jail and back home before you know it. Now you know a bit more about the process, which will help you choose the right bail agency. If you have any questions regarding the process, please contact us. We are here to help.