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View Diary: In Harris County, Judges Violate Notions of Fairness and Humanity (64 comments)

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  •  bottom line about our bail system is that it (8+ / 0-)

    is the most crony fraught aspect of our judicial system as many bails bondsmen are either multi  generational family operations, or are former law enforcement or court employees.

    Around here, bail bond is 10% -15% of the bail amount so on a $10,000 bail, you pay the bondsman $1000-$1500.  Of course you could be released RoR but that does not feed the beast.  The cash has to be cash up front in addition to the pink slip to your auto or a mortgage on your house.  If a case drags over a year, then there are recertification fees involved

    Now supposedly the bondsman then puts up the $10,000 to be held in escrow until you appear in court.  However, it would not take many clients before a bondsman would have a million bucks tied up in escrow.

    However, from private conversations with some bails bondmen, I understand not all of them are required to put up the bail in cash but only have to come up with the cash if their client skips.  This is purely anecdotal but if such a practice is common, it seems it would greatly benefit the bondsman.

    I will note that court employees do tend to advise people to use a bondsman, for example where I wished to use farmland to bail out a relative, I was advised to go to the bondsman and pay him his percentage and also to provide him a deed to the property as security, which made little sense to me since the value of the property exceeded the value of the bail

    •  That's where bondsmen (5+ / 0-)

      make their money - they foreclose on properties to which they hold the deed as surety for bonds when the person skips.

      I had an old college friend recently contact me (haven't seen or spoken to him since college some 40 years ago...) begging for me to be surety for a bail bond. I declined because I didn't have anything valuable enough to put up that didn't seriously exceed the bond amount and I didn't trust him to not skip out on the bail. That could have cost me my house because there's no way I had the cash to pay off the bondsman.

      They can foreclose on your property - take your car, your house, your land, your jewelry, whatever you use as surety - if you don't have the full amount of bail at the moment it comes due.  I don't personally know any bail bondsmen who will allow a payment schedule, but there might be some.

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      by Noddy on Wed Mar 06, 2013 at 06:24:04 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

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