When you bail someone out of jail, at least two things are required. First is a non-refundable fee, a monetary figure that needs to be paid to the bail bond company. Many people think this fee is a temporary deposit, refunded once the defendant has completed all court proceedings associated with the bail bond, but that is false.
The second requirement of posting bail is that a cosigner, or indemnitor, guarantee the bail bond. This person is responsible to indemnify (or “make whole”) the bail bond company for any losses resulting from the bond being forfeited by the court. For instance, a bail bond may be forfeited because the defendant fails to appear for scheduled hearings. The cosigner is then held responsible for the bail bond and its fees. In some cases, the bail bond company will allow the defendant and cosigner to enter into a promissory note, or payment plan. If the payment plan were not adhered to as agreed, the cosigner would be responsible for any unpaid balance.
In summary, the cosigner’s job is to ensure the defendant appears at all scheduled hearings and that payments are made to the bail bond company. Once the case is resolved, the obligation to the bail bond goes away.