All reputable bail bondsmen get into contracts with many courts around the county and state, they enter into these contractual agreements and agree to post bond and to be irrevocably bound by the bonds agreement. The court allows these agents to bail the accused from custody by signature with no need to front the cash for this transaction. The court declares that either the accused will show up in court on the date set or the bail bondsman would be required to pay the bail money. Since the bond that the bail bond agent agrees to is 100% irrevocable, it is without a doubt that the court will get the payment if the agreement is breached.
While the face value of such an agreement may appear as if its benefits are one-sided, the mere fact that there is an upsurge of bail bond agencies is evidence that there is enough money to be made.
The defendant is required to pay the bail bond agency a fee of 10% of the bail money, which is nonrefundable. The money cannot be refunded even when the defendant appears in court on the date set for trial. The bail bond agency that judiciously bails out a low flight risk defendant with a very high bail amount is able to make good money by taking the 10% fee.
For instance, if the accused is required to pay a $10,000 bail, the bail bond agency will sign a signature release for the defendant and take $1,000 as an upfront payment for taking the risk. If the bail bond agency is able to bail out such 5 defendants in a day, they can easily make $5,000.
Bail bond agencies also take collateral in the form of properties such as houses or cars. They will seize the property if the defendant fails to show up in court.