Dealing with an arrest is expensive by any means. First there are the initial costs of bail or bail bonds, there can be lawyer costs, lost wages during the time in jail, and potential court costs, fees, and fines. Frequently, bail is set at several tens of thousands of dollars, sometimes over $100,000, and even into the millions. Even with a bail bond, paying 10% can be costly. When dealing with a reputable bail bonds agency, it is important to understand the available options.
There are situations where the bond may be difficult to pay; sometimes payments can be arranged or items can be used as collateral. In other cases collateral will be required in addition to the fee. The bondsman puts a lot of expenses on the line to secure a release, and therefore has a lot to lose. That is where offering property helps both parties. Having an item held for collateral provides some measure of assurance that the defendant and the indemnitor (co-signer) intend to follow through on their end or the arrangement – going to court, paying on time, staying in touch, etc..
WHAT CAN I COLLATERALIZE?
Aside from money, which can be held as collateral, in addition to the normal fee, certain pieces of valuable property can be offered up. This property comes in the form of land, a home, a vehicle, or jewelry, most often. However, make sure to ask the bondsman, as any item of appropriate value can be leveraged, such as sports memorabilia, firearms, collectibles, electronics, and other assets.
Generally, if it is an item, like jewelry or a firearm, it is given to the bail bond agency to be held until the bond is released, and will be kept in safe or safety deposit box. If a car or home is offered, the bail bondsman will be given the title or deed.
As long as the defendant goes to court as directed and the arrangements with the bail bonds company have been honored, the collateral will be returned. However, it is essential to remember that a bail bond is a contract, and if it is not honored, a forfeiture occurs. At that point, ownership of the collateral is transferred to the bail company.
If a court date is missed, it is not an automatic forfeiture, as long as the bondsman and the court are contacted immediately, and the error is corrected. The most important way to protect the defendant, the co-signer, and the collateral is to follow all directions and continually stay in touch with the bail bonds agency. If you need us: Facebook and Twitter
October, 29 2105 / Ryan Serey