When you’re looking to organize a bail bond, you may wonder whether you will be asked to provide collateral in order to secure it. Collateral is property or items that are given or signed over to a bail bondsman in addition to the agreed payment, as security to ensure the defendant attends their court hearing. The bail bondsman may keep the collateral items if the defendant should skip their hearing.
Is Collateral Required for a Bond?
In most cases, your bail bondsman won’t ask for collateral when agreeing a bond- a signature is enough. If it is felt that collateral is required, the bondsman will speak to you before you sign any agreement. You won’t be forced into handing over possessions, cash or property if you choose not to.
What Happens to My Collateral?
If you do provide collateral to a bail bondsman, they should do two very important things with it.
First, they should protect and care for any item that while it is in their possession. This is included in the code of ethics for bondsmen, and they are responsible for damage to the item or property resulting from their negligence.
Second, your collateral should be returned to you at the resolution of your case. Providing you have adhered to all agreements, and a court decision has been reached, they should not withhold your property or items from you.
Although most bonds don’t require collateral, it’s comforting to know that procedures are in place to protect it, should you need to provide it.