Canceled bail bonds causes minor headaches

Tuesday, December 11th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

More than 300,000 criminal defendants had their bail bonds canceled over the weekend, because the insurance company behind the bonds went bankrupt.

That means many people could be re-arrested or have to pay for another bond. Several Tulsa County bondsmen wrote bonds under the Amwest Surety Insurance Company. Even though a judge ruled the bondsmen are no longer liable for the bonds, the local bondsmen say they will keep their promises to make sure their clients show up in court. Mike Evans with Evans Bail Bonds: "These clients are obligated. Even though Amwest is gone, they have a responsibility to the court and the Tulsa County bondsmen who wrote bonds under Amwest will make sure they appear in that courtroom."

The Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner has $1.6 million of Amwest's money, so if a person did skip out on their bond and couldn't be recaptured, money from that fund would cover the bond, so no county would lose money.