Do I Need Collateral for a Bail Bond?

Bondsman MargieAsk the Bondsman, How Bail Bonds Work

No Collateral Bail Options

One consideration in deciding to use a bail bondsman is collateral, which may or may not be required.  For the most part, it’s up to the bondsman if collateral is required for the bond. While not always the case, most bondsmen will require collateral equaling and sometimes exceeding the amount of the bond. One hundred-fifty percent (150%) of the bond as collateral is a traditional number in the bail industry. Collateral covers the bail company if the defendant fails to appear in court and needs to be found and returned to jail or court.

The factors that the bondsman will look at when deciding about collateral requirements include the amount of the bail, the amount of time the defendant and the indemnitor (the person signing the bail bond contract) have lived in the area and the need of a payment plan. Basically, the bondsman is determining risk. The higher the risk, the more likely the need for collateral.

Collateral, when required, is most often in the form of real estate (meaning your home). Collateral will be returned at the conclusing of the criminal case. Understandably, most people don’t want to put up their house for a bail bond — not to mention that these days many people don’t have substantial equity in their homes.

There are bondsmen who can provide no collateral bail bonds. If this is important, be sure to find it.