These four questions about bail and collateral may help you understand how the two are related. If you are incarcerated and need to post bail, collateral may be important. Similarly, if you are considering using personal property such as real estate as collateral for a loved one’s bail, this information will be important to you.
Although almost everyone can venture a guess as to the meaning of the word collateral, it does not hurt to assert its meaning as it applies to posting bail. Generally speaking, collateral acts as a guarantee that there are funds available to pay for the bail should the defendant fail to appear in court.
In order for collateral to be used in conjunction with bail, the items offered must be free and clear of any payments. For example, you cannot use a car as collateral if you are leasing it or still owe money to the bank. Some items that are used as collateral in conjunction with bail include:
*Real estate as collateral is based on the amount of equity available in the home. Some counties have very specific requirements. Lehigh County mandates that only real estate located in Pennsylvania is eligible for collateral purposes. Collateral eligibility is determined based on fifty percent of the appraised value minus any liens, mortgages or other encumbrances. There is an additional fee associated with real estate used as collateral.
It is important to note that you must purchase a security bond in order to post bail. Not all security bonds require that there be a hold on collateral. In some cases, it may be enough to obtain credibility by having a co-signer vouch for the bail. This decision is made on a case-by-case evaluation.
As a bail bonds agency, Andrew Pizzo Bail Bonds evaluates situations based on a number of factors. One may be a showing of residential consistency. Other considerations are an individual’s employment stability, their credit rating, and their past history.
Let’s face it. Most people recognize that they cannot skip out on court appearances. The country is too small to hide. People have lives and recognize they cannot go into seclusion. However, there is a real danger if someone does not show up for court-mandated appearances. The outcome is simple. Collateral will be forfeited if an individual fails to comply with the court’s directives. We suggest thinking very carefully about putting something of value on the line if there is any question that the defendant will not show up in court.
Need help securing bail for a loved one? There is no cost to review the circumstances with us. Please contact us to discuss the matter.