You might be curious to understand what qualifies as bail collateral. Remember, bail collateral is necessary if you or a loved one is arrested and unable to post cash in the amount of the bail required by whichever court has jurisdiction.

And because many people do in fact fall short of being able to come by that full amount in cash, they require the services of local bail bondsman. Essentially these bail bondsman step into the breach, providing whatever amount of money is necessary to get the bond paid in full. Typically, they require 10% down in cash from the defendant and they put up to 90% as a match.

Now, if the arrested party elects for any reason not to show up for officially scheduled court dates, it’s quite likely that the bail bondsman will become liable for that entire bond. In other words, 100% of what was originally given to the court. And this happens more often than you might think.

For that reason, bail bondsman require that you put down significant forms of collateral in exchange for their 90% contribution. That way, they can sell that collateral to help recover any loss they may have should the arrested party not live up to their end of the bargain.

A wide variety of things can qualify as legitimate bail bonds collateral. Will summarize a handful of those here so you have a better understanding of what can be used if the situation requires it.

One. Surety bond is a bond back by an insurance agency who assumes the risk for that bondsman. Typically, a relative or friend of the accused will put down 10% to the insurance agency and that agency will be on the hook for the remaining 90%. If the arrested individual does not show up in court when scheduled, their friend or relative will lose whatever they put down plus any cash, valuables or property that they supplied in addition to the 10%.

Two. Property bond is essentially a lien given to the court against land owned by the guarantor. Once again, if the accused does not honor their obligations, the property may be foreclosed upon and any proceeds will be used to cover the loss originally absorbed by the bail bondsman.

Three. Residential real estate is very commonly used in the case of large bonds. This can be raw land, residential homes, etc. As with the property bond above, the bail bondsman can elect to take possession or foreclosed upon the property that’s been used as collateral if they need it to be made whole.

Investment or bank accounts can also be used, and often are, in situations where the money is at very low risk of not being there, but it is tax advantageous to the person who is using them as collateral to leave them in place until there is a confirmed need to remove the money. This still gives the bail bondsman adequate protection for their risk, but it does not trigger unnecessary tax and/or loss implications if the defendant shows up in court as scheduled.

In addition to the stronger examples of collateral cited above, things of smaller value like vehicles, firearms, jewelry and other small readily negotiable items such as televisions and various electronics are also often used to arrive at enough collateral to complete the bonds process.

To be sure, bail bondsman are in the business of assuming some degree of risk, which is why they are paid so handsomely. However, experienced bail bondsman use all the rules of collateral to minimize that risk whenever possible. Reach out to Afford-A-Bail Bail Bonds if you ever find yourself in need of a reputable firm to handle similar matters.