What happens if you don’t pay a bail bondsman in California?

Being arrested and charged with a crime is an unfortunate event that can happen to anyone. When this happens, bail bonds can be a lifesaver to help you get out of jail during court proceedings. But what happens if you don’t pay a bail bondsman in California? Let’s break it down.

1. Legal Penalties

Bail bonds are a legal contract between you and a bail bondsman. If you fail to pay, the bondsman can legally pursue you and take legal action. California has specific laws regarding bail bond non-payment, which can result in legal trial and restitution for the bail bondsman. This means that you may have to pay more than the original bail amount. If this occurs, the bail agency can sue you in civil court for the outstanding balance plus any interest and legal fees incurred.

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2. Forfeit of Collateral

In most cases, bail bondsmen require collateral such as property, jewelry, or vehicles. If you default on your payment plan, the bondsman has the right to seize and sell your collateral to recover their money. If the collateral’s worth doesn’t cover the unpaid balance, you’ll be responsible for the remaining amount, plus legal fees and interest charges.

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3. Damaged Credit

Bail bonds are like any other loan, which means they can impact your credit score if not paid. If you fail to pay the bail bond fees, the bail agency can send debt collectors after you to recover the debt, which can show up on your credit report and negatively affect your credit score.

Failing to pay a bail bondsman in California can have severe consequences, including legal penalties, forfeiture of collateral, and damaged credit. It’s crucial to honor your bail bond agreement to avoid these situations. If you’re unsure about your ability to pay the bond, try talking to the bondsman and coming up with a payment plan that works for you.

Remember, the bail bond company is there to help you get through this difficult time, so it’s essential to maintain an open and honest communication line with them. Always remember to honor your bail bond agreement, and if you’re in doubt, seek legal help from an attorney.