First, congratulations! You have taken the first step in fighting back against the bail bond industry. Please tell your friends, family, and anyone else you know with bail debt about this tool! Here is what will happen next:
Step 1: You Read the Letter
After you submit the form, read the dispute letter to make sure everything is correct. If anything is wrong, let us know by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 2: We Send the Letter
We’ll send the dispute letter for you. We send letters on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month. We send the letter with a return receipt requested, meaning the bail bond company will have to sign a slip and send it back to you once they get the letter. When you get the slip in the mail (it will be green!) let us know by logging into your account or emailing us.
Step 3: We Check in With You
The dispute letter asks the bail bonds company to respond within 30 days. If they respond in any way (by sending a letter, calling you, etc.), let us know by sending us an email at email@example.com. If we don’t hear from you after about a month and a half, we will reach out to you to check in. If we get anything from the bail bond agency in the meantime, we’ll let you know.
Step 4: Bail Bond Company Responds
There are a few things that the bail bond company might do in response to the letter:
- First, they might agree to cancel your debt! If they offer to cancel your debt, make sure to get it in writing.
- It’s also possible they’ll want to talk to you to negotiate or will offer to take less than you owe to settle the debt. If the bail bond company tries to negotiate with you, STOP! Before you agree to anything, let us know what’s going on. Bail bond agencies might try to trick you into making a payment that will put you on the hook for a debt you shouldn’t have to pay. Let us know what is going on and we can help you with negotiations or refer you to a legal aid organization that can help.
- The bail bond company might not respond at all. Our community partners have had lots of experiences where the bail bond agency won’t respond but will stop contacting the person who sent the letter about the debt. If the bail bond company doesn’t respond, we can talk to you about how you want to proceed.
Step 5: Keep us Updated!
If you say it’s okay, we ask the bail bonds company to send responses to the Debt Collective’s Bail Team as well as yourself. The bail bond agency may not listen, so please let us know any time you hear from them so we can support you on next steps. We also want to track and analyze this data, because we’ll use what we learn in bail resistance efforts! You can reach us by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 6: Get Involved!
Sending your dispute letter is just the beginning. By using the Abolish Bail Debt Tool, we are inviting you to join the movement to abolish individual bail debt and the bail bond industry as a whole. We may use your demand letter in coordinated drop offs and media stunts. We may also call on you to participate in local actions targeting specific bail bonds companies.