While most people imagine dollars and cents when they think about bail bonds, money is only part of the broad spectrum of items that can be used as collateral. While liquid cash may be the preferred method of payment for most bail bond agents, there are plenty of other things that can be used as collateral for the bond. Here is a list of some things you can usually offer up to get out of jail:
Your Home or Property
Your bail bond agent might like the idea of getting cash for collateral, but if you don’t have enough on hand, they will usually settle for a home that still has value to cover the cost. Of course, if you want to offer property or a home as collateral, you must own the deed to the spot, and have a large amount of equity invested as well.
Due to the recent housing market nosedive, however, bail bond agents have soured on accepting deeds as collateral, as the value of your home may actually be much lower than what is indicated on the deed.
A car, truck, boat, or even snowmobile can also be used as a decent form of collateral for a bail bond. In order to use it, you must forfeit ownership of said vehicle to the bail bond agent until the agreement has reached its conclusion. If you fail to show up for the trial though, expect your vehicle to be sold to the highest bidder to help reclaim the cash that you didn’t have.
Guns and Other Firearms
This is a slightly less common option, but some bail bond agents in certain locations will actually take guns and other firearms as collateral for bail bonds. In order to make this transaction work though, you must have proof that you legally own the firearms, and that the possession of any weapons are legal in the state in which you reside, as well as the state that incarcerated you.
Because of their high value in the United States, jewelry, gems, and precious metals can usually be used as a fairly convenient collateral for your bail bond. In fact, your agent may be more willing to take this as collateral than the previously listed options, due to the fact that it is fairly easy to liquidate jewelry or precious metals in a real or virtual marketplace. Make sure to monitor the market value, though — the amount of money your jewelry can cover depends on how much it is worth at the time.
If you don’t have any cash, non-fiat money will work almost as well. If you have any investments in stocks, bonds, or CDs, you can often offer ownership of those up as collateral for your bond. Of course, the more liquid the investment you own, the more enticing it will be to the bail bond agent.
Get Out of Jail Today
Even if you don’t have any cash on hand, you aren’t necessarily stuck sitting in a cell until your trial starts. If you have been incarcerated, try using one of these items as bail bond collateral to free yourself today.
This piece was contributed by Phillip Bernstein, a freelance writer who concentrates his writing career on law and politics. Phillip recommends that when you need cheap bail contact an established bail bond service.