"Bail Bond Consumer Bill of Rights" - New York City

Bail Bond Consumer Bill of Rights is a legal document that was released by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs - a government authority operating within New York City.

Form Details:

  • Released on April 1, 2019;
  • The latest edition currently provided by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs;
  • Ready to use and print;
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Download a printable version of the form by clicking the link below or browse more documents and templates provided by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

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Bail Bond
Consumer Bill of Rights
By law, bail bond agents must give you a copy of this document before you sign a contract. It outlines your
rights, how the process works, and maximum fees that a bail bond agent can charge. Take the time to read and
understand it before you sign it. The bail bond agent must give you a copy of any signed document, including
a contract, to keep.
Know Your Rights
It’s illegal for a bail bond agent to:
• Charge a fee (also called a premium) for the bail bond that is more than the maximum fee allowed by law.
See the Maximum Fees Chart. The fees charged by the bail bond agent are not refundable, which means
you will not get back your money.
• Charge extra for services if the charges, combined with other fees, exceed the maximum fees allowed.
Services might have names like “courier fee” or “check-in fee.”
• Require someone to pay more fees for a bail bond if the maximum fees have been paid already.
You have the right to:
• Know the name and license number of the bail bond agent and receive this information in writing.
• Negotiate the contract with the bail bond agent.
• Take documents off the premises to review them before signing them.
• Get a contract that tells you when the bail bond agent will return your collateral and under what conditions.
Collateral can be cash, property, such as the deed to a home, or something with value that the bail bond
agent keeps until a case is over. Collateral is refundable, so you get it back when the case is over. However,
the bail bond agent may be able to keep the collateral if the defendant violates the court’s orders; for
example, if the defendant does not show up for a scheduled court appearance.
• Get back the collateral you provided if the judge decides that the defendant followed all of the court’s
directions. It does not matter if the defendant is convicted or acquitted.
How the Process Works
Someone
The court sets bail. If you cannot pay cash
You pay the bail bond
close to you
bail directly to the court, you can go to a bail
agent, possibly provide
is arrested
bond agent to arrange a bail bond. Know
collateral, and sign a
and charged
your rights when using a bail bond agent!
contract. The bail bond
with a crime.
See Know Your Rights.
agent secures the bail bond.
While the case is open, the defendant must obey all court orders and attend all
The defendant
scheduled court appearances. If not, the court may revoke bail, which means the
is released
bond is forfeited and you lose your collateral.
from jail.
If the judge “exonerates” the bond (either at the end of the case or while the case is still open), then the bail
bond agent must return the collateral. The court has exoneration paperwork, often called the “disposition,”
which says whether the bail was exonerated, and you can take this to the bail bond agent as proof.
The bail bond agent either gives you the collateral immediately or mails it to you.
Continued >
Bail Bond
Consumer Bill of Rights
By law, bail bond agents must give you a copy of this document before you sign a contract. It outlines your
rights, how the process works, and maximum fees that a bail bond agent can charge. Take the time to read and
understand it before you sign it. The bail bond agent must give you a copy of any signed document, including
a contract, to keep.
Know Your Rights
It’s illegal for a bail bond agent to:
• Charge a fee (also called a premium) for the bail bond that is more than the maximum fee allowed by law.
See the Maximum Fees Chart. The fees charged by the bail bond agent are not refundable, which means
you will not get back your money.
• Charge extra for services if the charges, combined with other fees, exceed the maximum fees allowed.
Services might have names like “courier fee” or “check-in fee.”
• Require someone to pay more fees for a bail bond if the maximum fees have been paid already.
You have the right to:
• Know the name and license number of the bail bond agent and receive this information in writing.
• Negotiate the contract with the bail bond agent.
• Take documents off the premises to review them before signing them.
• Get a contract that tells you when the bail bond agent will return your collateral and under what conditions.
Collateral can be cash, property, such as the deed to a home, or something with value that the bail bond
agent keeps until a case is over. Collateral is refundable, so you get it back when the case is over. However,
the bail bond agent may be able to keep the collateral if the defendant violates the court’s orders; for
example, if the defendant does not show up for a scheduled court appearance.
• Get back the collateral you provided if the judge decides that the defendant followed all of the court’s
directions. It does not matter if the defendant is convicted or acquitted.
How the Process Works
Someone
The court sets bail. If you cannot pay cash
You pay the bail bond
close to you
bail directly to the court, you can go to a bail
agent, possibly provide
is arrested
bond agent to arrange a bail bond. Know
collateral, and sign a
and charged
your rights when using a bail bond agent!
contract. The bail bond
with a crime.
See Know Your Rights.
agent secures the bail bond.
While the case is open, the defendant must obey all court orders and attend all
The defendant
scheduled court appearances. If not, the court may revoke bail, which means the
is released
bond is forfeited and you lose your collateral.
from jail.
If the judge “exonerates” the bond (either at the end of the case or while the case is still open), then the bail
bond agent must return the collateral. The court has exoneration paperwork, often called the “disposition,”
which says whether the bail was exonerated, and you can take this to the bail bond agent as proof.
The bail bond agent either gives you the collateral immediately or mails it to you.
Continued >
Maximum Fees Chart
The formula to determine the maximum fees that a bail bond agent can charge for a bail bond is:
• If the bond is $200 or less, the maximum fee is $10.
• If the bond is more than $200, the maximum fee is:
○ 10% of the amount up to $3,000
○ An additional 8% for any amount between $3,000 and $10,000
○ An additional 6% for any amount above $10,000
The maximum fees are set based on the size of the bond, not the number of people signing for it. If the
maximum fee for a bond is $100 and two or more people sign for the bond, the bail bond agent may still only
charge $100 total.
Bail Bond Amount
Calculation of Fees
Maximum Fees
$1 to $200
$10
$10
$1,000
10% of $1,000
$100
$5,000
10% of $3,000 + 8% of $2,000
$460
$7,500
10% of $3,000 + 8% of $4,500
$660
$10,000
10% of $3,000 + 8% of $7,000
$860
$20,000
10% of $3,000 + 8% of $7,000 + 6% of $10,000
$1,460
$50,000
10% of $3,000 + 8% of $7,000 + 6% of $40,000
$3,260
An online tool to calculate maximum fees is available at: https://nybondcalculator.org/
What to Do if a Bail Bond Agent Breaks the Law
To report an unlicensed bail bond agent, or a bail bond agent charging illegal fees or failing to return or refund
collateral, contact the New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS) at (800) 342-3736 or dfs.ny.gov.
To report other illegal business practices, contact the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA)
by calling 311 or visiting nyc.gov/dca. Illegal business practices may include refusing to provide copies of
documents; failing to provide a complete receipt or providing an illegal receipt; or false advertising.
For Consumer to Complete
The bail bond agent must give you this document in your preferred language if it is one of the six designated
citywide languages (Spanish, Bengali, Chinese, Haitian Creole, Korean, Russian).
Signature
Date
Print Name
Consumer
Affairs
The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) protects and enhances the daily economic lives
Bill de Blasio
Lorelei Salas
of New Yorkers to create thriving communities.
Mayor
Commissioner
04/2019
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