When someone close to you dies, the last thing you want to think about is your bail bond. Unfortunately, if the person who passed away was the cosigner on your contract with a bail company, you'll have to take immediate action to deal with the situation. Here's what may happen when you lose the co-signer on your bail bond and what you can do to avoid having your contract revoked.
You'll Be Required to Get a New Cosigner
When the bail bond agency learns about the death of your cosigner, the company will typically ask you to sign a new contract with a different cosigner. The purpose of a cosigner is to help make sure you show up for your court appearances and for the company to hold someone responsible for paying for its losses if you do something that causes the bond to be revoked by the court. Thus, the bail bond agency will want to continue having that guarantee, particularly if your case is a long way away from being resolved.
However, the company may waive this requirement if your case is close to concluding (e.g. you only have one or two more court appearances) and you haven't given them any problems thus far. The bondsman may also remove the cosigner requirement if the circumstances that made them ask for one in the first place are no longer an issue. For instance, you were underaged when the bond was taken out, but now you're over 18 and can legally sign your own contracts.
In any event, you should prepare and seek out a new cosigner before contacting the bond company. It's better to have someone ready and not need them than to need a cosigner and have no one to call.
You May Need to Use Different Collateral
Another problem that could pop up is the bail bond company may ask you to provide different collateral if the collateral used to secure the contract belonged to the decedent. Like a cosigner, the purpose of the collateral is to give the company a resource to collect on any losses it sustains from guaranteeing your bond. However, the cosigner's death may complicate the process of collecting the item.
For instance, the cosigner used a vehicle as collateral for the bond. Since the cosigner was married, though, the person's spouse also has a legal claim on the property. Even though the bail bond company may be entitled to the property in the case of default, it may be difficult for them to actually collect the full value owed due to laws governing inheritance and marital property. The bail bond agency may not want to deal with that legal quagmire and ask you to replace the collateral with something else less fraught.
Your bail bond contract will usually state how collateral will be handled in certain events. So, it's best to refer to it or ask your bondsman for clarification if it doesn't.
For more information about this issue or help with a bail bond, contact an agency like Abaasy Bail Bonds.