How Collateral Works?

What is Collateral?

Collateral is sometimes required to secure a bail bond.

Examples of some types of collateral are real property, cash, pink slips, etc. Depending on the amount of bail, collateral may not always be necessary. All collateral is returned when the bond has been exonerated and all legal responsibility of the co-signer (indemnitor) has been met.

What is and isn't good collateral?

Items that we considered good collateral are: unencumbered and encumbered (depending on how much equity) real estate is good. Items that are considered major collateral such as a car, boat, motor home, etc. are deemed good.

When do I get my collateral back?

    • Upon completion of the court case.
    • The charges are dropped.
    • The person is found innocent at trial.
    • The person is sentenced at trial.
    • When bail is exonerated.

Of course, the collateral will only by returned if there is no outstanding balance due on the premium. The bail bond agent has a fiduciary (formal legal) responsibility to safeguard all collateral.

What happens if the person does not appear in court as promised?

If the person fails to appear in court (jumps bail) a warrant is issued for their arrest.

The judge either puts a bail amount greater than the original amount or a no-bail warrant is issued. Because the bondsman has a legal contract with the co-signer (indemnitor) the co-singer is contacted right away. The bondsman has a limited amount of time to return the defendant back to the court before the court issues a demand on the bond. (The court wants the money) and the co-signers obligation to pay the full amount of the bail per their contractual agreement comes due.

All the cost incurred for the defendant’s failure to appear falls onto the co-signer. Some forfeiture may be errors of the court made by the clerks, attorneys, the defendant and occasionally a judge but can be rectified with re-assumption papers for a minimal fee.