Bail bond agencies usually require some form of collateral from the client or the co-signer of the bond, in addition to the fee for services. It is their way of protecting themselves in case the client decides to skip town in order to avoid prosecution. Collateral can be anything that is worth as much as the amount of the bail set by the court. The agency will consider the seriousness of the charges and if the client and indemnitor are well established in the jurisdiction. The reasoning being that a defendant who has family ties and is employed by a reputable business will be less likely to flee the area.
Real estate is a popular type of collateral. Once the bail agency has determined that there are no liens against the property the client will hand over the deed which will be held for security by the agency until the case against the defendant has been decided. The deed will be returned to the owner no matter the outcome of the trial.
A vehicle title is another commonly acceptable form of collateral. Just as with a property deed the title will be held by the agency up to the time of the trial and returned when the case has been resolved.
A piece of jewelry or art may be used as collateral but the sentimental value could figure in here. If the cosigner is risking the loss he should be very sure that he can trust the defendant to live up to his part of the bargain.
Once bail has been arranged the client can depend on his bondsman for guidance through the bail process and to be on hand with advice or assistance throughout the time leading up to the trial.
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