Simply put, Bail Enforcement refers to “enforcing” the agreement of a defendant to return to court and appear before a judge in a criminal case where bail has been implemented. Many people assume this is the main job of a bail bondsman, but for the most part, bondsmen get defendants out of jail. Nationally, it is estimated that 98% of defendants on a bail bond return to court as promised. Thus, a bondsman has little need to perform bail enforcement per se.

That said, what bail enforcement does, is enable the bail bondsman to return the defendant to court or jail, he or she feels the defendant will skip out on bail or has missed court willfully. Overall, bail enforcement is allowed in order to protect the general public by enforcing the court’s order to stand before a judge. Furthermore, bail enforcement and its procedure also include necessary arrangements in order to track down and obtain the fugitive. When this is the case, bail agents can use “skip tracing” to track a defendant on the run.

However, before any of these methods are used, the bail bondsman will take steps in an effort to find the fugitive by contacting those who signed the bail bond. A co-signer’s best interest is to assist the bail bondsman in tracking down the fugitive or else the co-signer will be responsible for paying the full bond amount, as stated in the bail bond contract.

When a bail bondsman is unsuccessful in tracking down a fugitive, a lengthy process may occur. The bondsman will be responsible for paying the court the full amount of the forfeited bail. Most likely, the bail bondsman will use their capital to pay for this rather than relying on the underwriting insurance company or “surety” as it is known. After the bond is revoked and paid by the bondsman, he will then seek the co-signer of the bail bond out for payment on the full bond.

If the bond involved collateral, such as a property bond, the bondsman will seek the property that was in the contract necessary to pay for the skipped bail and foreclosure will proceed if necessary.