There’s quite a bit of chatter in the bail bonds industry about “1% bail bonds.” But what does that really mean? To a casual observer, it may not mean much at all. For someone with a friend, family member, or other loved on in jail, it may mean much, much more.
1% Down Payment Bail Bonds
When someone refers to a “1% bail bond,” they almost always mean that the bail bondsman is offering a financing option. If you have the cash to pay for your loved one’s bail, you can do that without the aid of a bail bondsman. This is relatively common in cases where bail is extremely low, as it occasionally is for minor offenses.
For larger bail amounts, bail bonds are frequently needed. That’s what Fred Frank Bail Bonds provides – money for bail in exchange for a promise to return for the scheduled court date and a fee. That fee, taken in exchange for the service provided and the risk taken on, must be paid by the defendant or the defendant’s family, friend, etc.
But for those short on cash, coming up with the entire fee – typically around 10% of the total bail bond, but subject to variations – is also quite difficult. Thus the “1% bail bond” – it is actually a simple financing option that allows a defendant to get out of jail in exchange for 1% of the total bail amount.
So, for example, if a defendant has bail set at the amount of $50,000, the 1% down payment option for the bail bondsman’s service would be $500. This is still a chunk of money, but much easier to come up with than the entire fee and obviously well shy of the entire bail amount of $50,000.
Bail Financing Options
Detractors will often say that the financing options offered by bail bondsmen are difficult to understand and result in those utilizing bail bondsmen’s service paying much more than necessary. As with any financing option, whether the offer is a “good” one is generally dependent on WHO you’re doing business with and what the terms are relative to your financial position.
Dealing with an unscrupulous (or even unlicensed) bail agent or agency is likely going to cause problems. Fortunately, bail agents and the insurance companies that back them are regulated closely by the Maryland Insurance Commission – any wrongdoing on the part of the agent or insurance company is reported to the Commission. Fred Frank Bail Bonds, for example, has been in business for over 50 years – that’s the type of longevity and track record that one simply does not attain unless the company and its agents are honest and fair.
In the extreme example, there are unlicensed bail bondsmen – doing business with such an individual or operation is almost certain to end poorly, so determining whether the bail agents are licensed is, of course, an important first step! You can search right here and you’ll find Fred Frank listed under the name of our insurance partner, Lexington National Insurance Corp. Do a search for “Lexington National” and you’ll see our status!