What Is Bail Bond Collateral?

Many defendants will face court charges for bail that exceed the cash they have on hand to meet them. When this is the case, a bail bondsman can put up the difference, but to do so they will require a significant amount of collateral to compensate for their risk. You might look at it as a form of offering credit or the equivalent of a loan to the defendant. And most loans do require collateral to protect the lender. It’s important to remember that a bail bondsman is on the hook if you don’t show up for your court appearances. There are a number of ways to establish that collateral. For some defendants, it can be there house or a vacation property. Others will put jewelry up as collateral or similar assets to include vehicles, collectibles and other rare items.

The bail bondsman will want as much paper evidence as possible of the assignment of collateral. That could be the deed in the case of your home, a vehicle’s title etc. Obviously, it’s important for the bail agent to be able to document your obligation in case they need to recover what they’ve guaranteed to the court. For smaller, easier to store items like jewelry, you’ll likely be required to allow them to take physical possession of that. They will, of course, return it if you show up in court and the court releases the bond.

So, for security sake, most agents want bail collateral to be in the form of property with the demonstrable value. The more liquid it is, the better. Understand that any house put up for collateral will be seized and sold as soon as possible if you do not appear in court for hearing dates. This is a strong incentive to meet your requirements under the law! Be there on time and with proper representation. Most courts require that real estate being sold as part of this collateral process is equal to at least 150% of what’s obligated to the court (the bail bond amount). This process can really drag out as the proper way to proceed in selling the real estate is evaluated.

As long as you attend all required hearings, regardless of the final determination of your innocence or guilt, the collateral will be released at the end. You are only at risk for losing collateralized assets if you do not strictly follow court mandated processes.

Certain bail bond agents can retain some portion of the collateral as payment of your premium, if for example, you do not have the cash to put down during the bail process. This is negotiated at the beginning between the agent and the defendant. Most jurisdictions require collateral to be returned within five working days after the case is concluded and any obligations remaining to the bail bondsman have been fulfilled. Until this takes place, collateral can be held by the bail agent indefinitely.

To speak with someone at Afford A Bail Bail Bonds about the possibilities, visit their website. Otherwise, you will be looking at dealing directly with the courts, which is financially overwhelming, and may result in you remaining in custody throughout all court proceedings.