Consequences of Defaulting on Bail Bond Payments: A Detailed Analysis

Consequences of Defaulting on Bail Bond Payments: A Detailed Analysis

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Once a defendant or their loved one posts bail using a bonding agency, the battle has just begun. Ensuring all the paperwork is kept up, court dates are met, and payments deposited is a nearly full time job for defendants and their families, and defaulting on a payment is enemy number one.

Like a nightmarish domino effect, defaulting on bail sets off a long chain of processes for a defendant that can be difficult to recover from, financially, emotionally, and legally. The consequences of defaulting on bail bond payments are not a laughing matter for anyone involved, and this article will explore how these consequences unfold from the perspective of an experienced bail bond agency.

What Happens When Someone Defaults?

When someone defaults on bail, there are two streams of consequences which begin simultaneously to take effect: short term consequences, and long term consequences. Being familiar with both types of consequences that may occur from a defaulted payment is important for emphasizing to the defendant and their loved ones that it is best to avoid defaulting. Here is a more detailed overview of the consequences of defaulting:

Short Term Consequences

The first thing that happens when someone’s payment becomes overdue is the bond agency is notified. Once this occurs, the court may also be notified and forfeit the bail, meaning that the defendant must return to jail to await their future court dates. This usually results in the release of a warrant for arrest for the defendant who has broken the terms of their bail. At the same time, the bond agency will likely begin efforts to collect lost funds.

This could be the cost from the defaulted payment, or the entire bail amount depending on if the bond was forfeited or not. Generally, the missing funds are collected through communications with the person who secured the bail bond for the defendant by collecting the collateral, or a bounty hunter must be sent to collect from the defendant if there is need. 

Long Term Consequences

Even if all the collateral is collected, and the bond agency has finished its relationship with the defendant, there are still further long term penalties which may accrue depending on the conditions surrounding the defendants defaulting of bail payments.

The two tangible long term consequences that arise are further legal action taken against the defendant by the bond agency in either civil or criminal court, and the potential highly negative credit impact that could arise out of the bond agency reporting the debt to a credit bureau. Beyond this, the defendant is also responsible for repairing relations with their loved ones after the stress and loss of a defaulted payment. 

Steps To Prevent Defaulting

It isn’t often that people point blank decide to default on their bail bond payments. In fact, most defaulted payments are the result of a series of mistakes or decisions that result in the payment being defaulted. Many of these can be prevented through communication with the bail agency about the family’s financial situation, current issues, and a plan for getting back on track.

For those considering contacting a bail bonding agency, choosing a compassionate bail bond agency with many years of experience that is willing to provide you with all the information up front, is the best way to ensure success.