Do Bail Bond Companies Have A Minimum Limit On Bonds?
A common question people ask when bail is set very low is whether bondsmen have a minimum for bonds. Generally, they don't, but here are two reasons a company may decline to cover a defendant when their bail is set at only a few hundred dollars.
State Law Can Lead to Minimum Bond Requirements
States typically cap the fees a bail bond company can charge at a certain percentage of the bail amount (e.g., 10 percent). However, some states also require bondsmen to collect a minimum fee from customers. For example, in Florida, bondsmen must charge at least $100 for bonds. So, even if bail was set at $500, you would still be required to pay $100 to the company to have it get you or your loved one out of jail.
Thus, in states that mandate minimum fees, bail bond companies may only accept cases where bail is set at a certain amount or higher to simplify their business processes or ensure the transaction makes financial sense. For instance, a Florida bondsman may only take cases where bail is set at $1,000 or more since the bond fee percentage in that state is 10% and 10% of a $1,000 is equal to the lowest fee that can be charged.
Each bail bond company is different. If one has a minimum bond requirement and bail is set below that, don't be afraid to call around to other companies until you find one who can assist you.
The Company's Insurance Provider May Have Stipulations
Bail bond companies don't use their own money to get defendants released from jail. Instead, they essentially take out policies from insurance providers who then cover any money lost as a result of defendants failing to show up for court as agreed.
Some bondsmen may institute a minimum bail requirement because their insurance provider requires one. Alternatively, the company may implement one to ensure the premium they earn covers any fees they have to pay the insurer. For instance, if the bondsman has to pay a $25 service fee for the policy, they may require bail be set at a minimum of $500 so the premium they get (e.g. $50) covers the policy cost, other fees, and any profit they want to make.
To learn more about bond fees or how to get yourself or your loved one out of jail, contact a local bail bond company for assistance.