Using a bail bondsman can get your loved one their freedom back during trial, but can be a confusing process.
Collateral, the property used to secure a bail bond, is especially confusing for many people.
Here is a list of some of the most common items offered as bail bond collateral.
Real estate is the most commonly used form of bail bond collateral. Houses, farms, investment properties or plots of undeveloped land are all acceptable forms.
Bondsmen prefer to deal in real estate for the simple reason that it’s easy to collect. It’s impossible to take a piece of land or a house while trying to evade the law.
You will be required to show proof of free and clear ownership. Properties with mortgages already on them are rarely accepted as collateral.
The deed or other ownership documents must be left with the bondsman in order to secure the bond.
Cars, trucks, and work vehicles are also commonly used as collateral. The value of the vehicle will be calculated and applied towards the requested bond amount.
Any vehicle used as collateral must also be owned without financing. The bondsman will usually require the title of the vehicle be surrendered before providing the bond.
In cases where there is a perceived flight risk or for especially high-value bonds the vehicle itself must sometimes be surrendered.
Gold or silver bullion, platinum or gemstones are often accepted as collateral. The bondsman will have them valued and apply that amount to the premium you owe them.
Because of the high value to size ratio of these items, the bondsman or court will always retain possession of them.
If you own stocks, bonds or an ownership stake in a business you can often use these as bail bond collateral. Money kept in a savings account will also work.
This allows you to secure your loved ones release without paying the full amount yourself. Be forewarned though, any investment or account you put up will be untouchable for the length of the trial.
Many bondsmen will work with you concerning collateral and offer payment plans for your bond.
Movable Bail Bond Collateral
This last category describes most other items of value that a person might have. Electronics, firearms, jewelry or collectibles are common.
The movable part of the descriptor is the most important part. Like precious metals, these items generally must be surrendered to the bondsman or court.
Item condition, assayed value or purchase price all go into the bondsman’s assessment of their value. You can usually put up as many items as you need to cover your collateral requirements.
A word of warning though, these items will be kept until the court proceedings are finished. Depending on the charges this could take months or even years.
It’s Not the End of the World
Dealing with the aftermath of an arrest can leave you drained, both emotionally and financially. Don’t let posting bail and worrying about collateral add to your stress.
If you or a loved one has need of a bail bond, contact us to discuss your options.