Q. Last year we cosigned on a bail bond for my roommate’s boyfriend, but they broke up, he moved and he never bothered going to court. We all just got messages from the bondsman we used. He mentioned something about a bail forfeiture. What does this mean? We really didn’t know this guy. What, if anything are we responsible for?
A. This is, unfortunately, not the first time we’ve heard from someone who has found themselves in this situation. When you cosigned for the boyfriend’s bail bond, all of the cosigners agreed to take full legal responsibility that he would go to court and finish his case. If a defendant skips bail, the bondsman has a set period of time to get them back into custody. If that doesn’t happen, the court will require the bail bonds company pay a penalty equal to the defendant’s initial bail amount, and the responsibility to pay will ultimately fall to the cosigners. We always tell people they should never cosign on bail bonds for someone they just met or barely know, because situations like the one you’ve described are far too common.
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