Bail Bond Collateral, Who Needs Collateral for Bail Bonds?
After someone is arrested, he or she is expected to attend an initial court hearing called arraignment within 24 to 48 hours. There, the defendants learn about their rights and charges against them. After considering the facts of the case, the court may allow them to post bail if they meet the requirements.
The bail amount varies based on the defendant’s age, history, the severity of the offense, number of charges, and other factors. When bail is granted, defendants have three options:
- Pay the full bail in cash, and they’ll be released
- Post a bail bond through a licensed bail bond agent – a percentage, usually 7 to 10% of the bail amount
- Pay nothing and go to jail
If you opt for bail bonds, you will have to contact a reputable bonding company to post bail on your behalf. In return, other than the fee, the bail bond company may also ask you to put up bail bond collateral. How would you know if you may need a bail bond collateral type? Let’s start with understanding what is collateral on a bail bond.
Bail bond collateral can be anything of value. It is kept as security, as an assurance that the defendants will appear for their court hearing. Plus, if a defendant fails to appear before the court, the bail bond company will have to pay the full amount of bail to the court. This is why the collaterals should be commensurate with the amount of bail, enough to compensate the bail bond company should a defendant jump bail.
But what can one actually use as bail bond collateral? The following list offers collateral bail bond types, however, some states may differ based on local regulations. Let’s find out.
- Real Estate
Real estate is the most common type of bail bond collateral. If you are the primary owner of a building or a piece of land, you can put that up as collateral. It should be in good shape, must have value, and cannot be under a mortgage. Your family members or friends can also offer the property of which they are the legal owners, if they are willing.
If you are offering real estate as collateral, you will have to file a deed with your county courthouse to inform them that the legal title of the property is now under the lien of a bail bond company. It will still belong to you; you can make use of it. However, the legal title of it will remain under the lien of the bail bond company until your bail is released.
You can use any type of vehicle such as cars, boats, yachts, snowmobiles, bikes, RVs, tractors, trucks, and even aircraft as bail bond collaterals. But for putting up a vehicle, you will have to show proof of ownership. Like real estate, the vehicle will still be in your possession; the bail bond company will just hold the title of the vehicle(s). If a defendant skips the court appearance, the company can sell the vehicle to recoup its losses.
Similarly, bail bond companies may accept pawn-able items such as jewelry, antiques, art pieces, precious metals, stones, watches, and electronics as collateral. It may be difficult for bondsmen to ascertain the actual value of the item; therefore, they may ask you for an appraisal, certificate of authenticity, or any other proof that the item actually belongs to you and carry the required value.
Unlike real estate and vehicles, a bail bond company may take such items into its possession. Different bail bond companies may have different policies when it comes to valuables. You need to read their policy before signing over such items as bail bond collaterals.
- Credit Card
Credit cards may take the form of collateral. For offering a credit card as collateral, your credit limit needs to be more than the bail amount. The defendant will have to disclose the authorization code so that the bondsmen can recover the losses they incur in case the defendant violates the conditions of the bail.
- Irrevocable Letter of Credit (ILOC)
This is a letter written by a bank to the bail bond company. The letter would clearly state the bank guarantees the conditions outlined by the company. To get an ILOC, one needs to have enough money in the bank or be well-known to the bank. This is obvious, but if a bank accepts someone’s responsibility, it must be sure that the defendants will not jump the bail. Or if they do, they have enough money in their bank account to make up for the losses the bank incurs.
Though not common, cash is the easiest and readily accepted form of bail bond collateral. Usually, cash is given as collateral when the bail amount is lower. Bondsmen prefer cash because of its convenience; no transfer of ownership is required, just exchange the cash when the case is adjudicated.
- Investments – Stocks and Bonds
Lastly, you can also offer stocks and bonds as collateral. The value of the investment should exceed the amount of the bail. It will be in the possession of the bail bonds company as long as your bail is not exonerated.
These are some of the things that may take the form of bail bond collateral. But as mentioned earlier, companies’ policies may vary. Check with your bail bond agent before offering any of the above as bail bond collateral.
Need further help regarding bail bonds? 3-D Bail Bonds is just a phone call or text away. We are a licensed bail bond company, serving Connecticut since 1997. Be it night or day, our crew is available 24/7/365 to assist you. We have the fastest jail release process and lowest bail cost possible.