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Ask Curtis Staropoli Your Own Question
Curtis Staropoli
Curtis Staropoli, Lawyer
Category: Criminal Law
Satisfied Customers: 798
Experience:  17 years of general practice of law.
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what happens to me if i default on a bail bond I have not

Resolved Question:

what happens to me if i default on a bail bond? I have not put my house up, but am unable to pay the entire bond. the bondee is gone, don't know where, and now i'm stuck with a debt i can't possibly pay.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Criminal Law
Expert:  Curtis Staropoli replied 7 years ago.

If you have not placed any collateral up for the bond, the only thing that may happen if you default would be a civil judgment against you.


Can you explain the circumstances with the bond a bit further?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I'm sorry, I was expecting a more detailed answer.
Expert:  Curtis Staropoli replied 7 years ago.

Can you explain the circumstances with the bond a bit further?

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I paid 10% of three bonds, one for $7500, one for $5000, and one for $25,000. At 10% I have given $1280 on the first 2, and $2515 on the 3rd. If the bondee is not taken into custody, or goes back to court, I'm liable for $37,500 minus the $3795 I have paid to date. There is no viable way for me to come up with this kind of money. I was naive in thinking the bondee would disapear and not go to court. What happens with a civil judgement? Is there any negotiating the amount left to be paid? How do they collect a civil judgement on me? I'm told if I don't pay, they have insurance that does. If this happens, won't they still come after me somehow. I'm living on retirement money, and not high on the hog either.
Expert:  Curtis Staropoli replied 7 years ago.

What happens generally is that the surety company will reimburse the bond outfit and then potentially bring a claim to recover what it paid (this is called subrogation) against you by filing a civil lawsuit. It may actually take a peroid of years before you even hear from the surety company seeking to recover from you, but you probably will at some point.


You can certainly negotiate the amount due at any time, and in this type of case (I occasionally handle similar claims for surety companies) there is almost always an expectation on the part of the surety company that it will recover only a small portion of its loss, if any at all.


If the matter actually goes to judgment, there are various ways to try and collect a judgment, and in your case as a retiree it would seem that a lien on your house would be the best way because social security benefits are not attachable, however, you may protect yourself from this in some states by outting the house jointly in you and your spouse's names, or, you could put it in a child's name or someone else you trust.


You can also collect from the bondee if that's a possibility, but it doesn't sound like it.


I hope that this was helpful to you. If it was please remember to click "ACCEPT" on your screen to make sure that I am paid for my efforts. By clicking ACCEPT you are not giving up your right to ask more questions on this issue, and I will be happy to respond to these as well


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