Bail bond forfeitures occur when a defendant has missed their scheduled court appearance. Within 10 days after the missed court date, the courts will issue a forfeiture notice. After a person has missed their court date, a bench warrant will then be issued for their arrest. The court will then also set a date for which the defendant must be located and brought back to custody or the full bail amount must be paid.
The bail bondsman then has the right to hire a bounty hunter to locate and arrest the individual who is out on bail. The bounty hunter will then return the defendant back into police custody. The bail bondsman also has the right to sue the cosigner or guarantor for the additional costs and fees spent trying to located the suspect.
If the defendant who “jumped bail” has not been returned to the courts or hasn’t turned himself or herself in by the set forfeiture date, the bail bondsman then has to pay the court the full bail amount. The bail bondsman then has the right to move ahead and foreclose on any collateral that may have been guaranteeing the bail bond. If the value of the collateral exceeds the amount of the bail bond, the bail bond company is then required by law to refund any amount gained by the sale of the collateral. It is important to remember that bail is not a “get out of jail free” card. The financial responsibility will fall on someone, most frequently the friends or loved ones of the defendants who are defying the courts.
The cosigner or guarantor who posted bail for the defendant should be more than willing to assist police and the bail bondsman in finding the individual. Once the individual is brought back to the courts, the financial responsibility that has been put on the person who posted bail will be immediately removed.