If you’re looking to bail a defendant out of jail, you might be surprised at how much money you’re going to have to pay. Do all bail bonds require collateral? No. Its there to help you meet the financial requirements of the bond. For instance, if the defendant has committed a felony, then you could be paying tens of thousands of dollars to the legal system. Most people don’t have that kind of money laying around. Therefore, you’re going to need to get a bail bond instead. In some of the cases where an extremely high bail amount is set by the judge, you might not even have enough to pay the 10%-15% fee for the bond either. In this case, most bail bonds will only be executed if you have some sort of collateral to secure the financial requirements of the liability. In this article, we’ll present the top four things that you might be able to use as collateral with your chosen bonding company.
Types of Collateral for Bail Bonds
– Real Estate
– Precious Metals
– Savings and Investments
Using Your Car as Bail Bond Collateral
If you own your car or truck, you will most likely be able to use it as collateral with bail bonds. If you don’t own it and you are making payments, then this won’t be sufficient. In other words, if you don’t own it outright, the lending company does and it’s a liability already and not an asset. Look to other forms of transportation that you might own if this is the case i.e. motor homes, motorcycles, boats, four-wheelers, campers, etc. Just keep in mind if the defendant doesn’t show up for their court date, this piece of collateral will be forfeited over to the court in which they will auction it off. You may still owe on the bond after this proceeding if the amount that the item sold for doesn’t meet the amount of bail set.
Putting Your House Up as Collateral for Bail
One of the first questions that a bonding company will ask you over the phone, to determine if you qualify for a bail bond or not, is if you own your home. This is important for a couple of reasons. If you have a mortgage, then that means you most likely have good credit. Another reason is that if you have equity in your home, you can put your house up as collateral for a bail bond. Just like in the above example though, a bail bondsman can take your house if the defendant does not go in front of the judge on their court date. Know the risks associated with this form of collateral ahead of time.
Alternative Forms of Collateral for Bail Bonds
The process of meeting the financial liability to back the bail bond amount is the key component, no matter what form of collateral you can use. If you don’t own your car, you can’t put your home up for collateral for bail because you don’t own it, and you can’t think of any other form of financial backing you could use, then think a little outside the box. Some bail bonds companies will accept investment accounts and high interest savings accounts like CD’s as financial backing. Furthermore, if you have any precious metals that are worth anything, you might be in luck there as well.
Something very important to note is that in all of the aforementioned examples of collateral, you will forfeit it if the defendant fails to see the judge on hist/her schedule court appearance(s). In that case, the bonding company will usually hire a bail recovery agent (bounty hunter) to find the defendant and bring them to the jail so they can await their next scheduled court date. Your collateral will not be forfeited in that case.
If none of the above forms of collateral are available to you, you have two more choices. You can find someone else to co-sign the bail bond without collateral who has the financial means to do so, or you can let the defendant stay in jail until they get a bond reduction.