Understanding Bail Bonds Collateral

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Understanding Bail Bonds Collateral

Many people believe that they will always need to post bail bonds collateral in order to get a friend or family member out of jail.  You may be surprised to learn that this is not always a requirement.   It actually more depends on the company you choose to hire.  Some will always request collateral whereas others may only require it under certain circumstances.

Collateral is something of value that will be temporarily held by the bondsman in order to “secure” the bond.  Some agents will accept a variety of items including pink slips to cars or jewelry.  Others will only allow clients to post property.  Be sure to ask your bondsman about their company’s terms, conditions and requirements.  All bail bonds companies are required to charge the same rate but each one operates a bit differently than the next.

If you are required to post collateral the general rule of thumb is that you will need to put up an item that has 150% of the value of the bond.  If bail has been set at $10,000 you may be asked to post $15,000 worth of collateral.  As long as the defendant appears for all of his required court dates, the collateral will be returned to whoever posted it as soon as the case is over.  On the other hand, if the defendant decides to flee and cannot be located within 180 days, it will be considered forfeited.   The court will issue a summary judgment and require the bondsman pay that person’s full bail amount, also called a forfeiture, within 30 days.  The collateral will be used to cover that debt.

If bail has been set at less than $100,000 you may be eligible for no collateral bail bonds.   This is also referred to as a signature bond.  In this case, the the signature of the person cosigning the paperwork is sufficient assurance the defendant will appear in court when they are supposed to.

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