Monday, August 1, 2016

Getting Out Of Jail In California - Collateral

Bail Can Be Tough To Come Up With

If someone you love very dearly is sitting behind bars, you will do anything to get them out.  A professional bail bonding company is often the most logical choice for many families across the country. I mean, who really has the money set aside to pay for bond?  According to a recent news article, more than 60% of American families live pay check to paycheck.  If that's the case there probably isn't a whole lot of money left over to pay for an unexpected expense such as bond.  That's where bail bond companies come in. A licensed bail bondsman makes it easier to get people out of jail.  In our series, Behind Bars, we're taking a closer look the different element of a bail agent contract.  Today, we're diving into the world of collateral.  Okay, let's get started.

Putting The Collateral Together

In order to work with a bail bondsman, you need at least 10%-15% of the total bail amount. For example, if bond is set at $25,000 then you would need to come up with at least $2,500.  Okay, once you have the down payment, you need a co-signer. We'll dive into this topic later on, but basically a co-signer is someone who will take responsibility for the defendant.  Once you have a responsible adult, then you need collateral.  No, we're not talking about renting the Hollywood blockbuster at Red-Box.  In this situation, collateral basically means an item or property with value.  Bail agents require collateral in the event you skip bail.  Who do you think is going to pay your bail? 

Okay, now that we've defined a few terms for you, let's take a closer look at the different types of collateral. Every bail bonding company has a specific set of collateral standards, but for the most part they are some basic guidelines. The first question to ask yourself when trying to find collateral: Does this have a monetary value? We're talking dollar bills.  Lots of them.  Sentimental value has zero value to a bail bonding company.  So make sure your grandma's antique watch collection is actually worth something before posting it as collateral. 

Good Bail Agents Are Creative But Honest

Bail agents are known to get pretty creative when it comes to finding a piece of collateral.  In fact one bail agent once admitted to taking a hot air balloon, a time share in Tahiti and a rare dinosaur bone as collateral.  If you don't have any of those things lying around, don't worry, your bail agent will work with you to find something that will work. 

Do you have a piece of property? That'll work. How about a Swiss bank account? No. We don't either.  Okay. How about a car? You've got to have a car.  Okay, once you decide on what you'll post as collateral, you will need to have the item appraised by an expert. So, if you choose to post your car as collateral you will need to list the Kelly Blue Book value and sign over your title to a bail bonding agent of choice.  However, if you decide to use an antique or a piece of jewelry as collateral, an jeweler or antique dealer will need to provide a notarized document stating the value.

Once a value is determined, you will sign a document insuring the item will be made available in the event you fail to follow through on the terms of your release.  Often, a bail bonding company will provide a safe place for you to store your collateral until your case reaches a resolution.  If you skip bail, the collateral will be seized and auctioned off to pay for your bail. But, if you're a model citizen during your case, you will get your collateral back at the end of your case.

Who Can You Trust?

I have only ever had to deal with this situation one time in my life.  And I won't get into specifics.  It is too embarrassing.  I will say however that the professionals at Arrow Bail Bonds went above and beyond for us!  I could not recommend them higher.  Give the gals over there a call and they will treat you with respect and take good care of you.  Here are some other articles I found recommending them:

Collateral is a financial  incentive for defendants and their families to act in a responsible manner for the duration of the case.  A bail agent never looks forward to cashing in collateral, so make good choices. As you can  see there are lots of options when it comes to posting collateral.  Bail agents will work with your specific set of circumstances to make it possible to post bond and get out of jail.   Take a look around your house, take pictures of possible collateral and send them immediately to your bail agent. This will help expedite the process.  Also check out the state laws regarding bail bond agents here:  California Bail Agent Statutes