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The infinite possibilities in bail collateral

Bail bonding is a serious and risky business and the bail bondsman can’t be accused of avariciousness if he wishes to cover his risks by securing the collateral of properties or other assets of the defendant.

The basics of collateralization say that the value of the collateral should at all times be equal to or should exceed the amount that is fixed as bond money. The bail bonding company will not only ensure that their bonds are fully secured and realizable but they also ensure that their defendant turns up in court, voluntarily or through compulsion. Basically the collateral furnished to the bail bondsman is purely to ensure the defendant’s cooperation and attendance in court for all mandatory hearings.

When collateral underwrites the bail bond the defendant’s cooperation is ensured on two fronts:

Motivational input: Without any sum as ransom it may be difficult to secure cooperation from the defendant. The collateral keeps the defendant and cosigner motivated to abide by the court’s conditions and enables the bondsman to carry leverage in his determination to ensure that the defendant attends the mandated hearings. If the defendant becomes uncooperative, the family members or the cosigner who deposited the collateral can be pressurized to locate and apprehend the defendant and bring him to court. Immediately as the defendant’s disposition becomes clear and it is certain that he is unlikely to appear in court, the bondsman can leverage the forfeited security to realize the dues.

Liquidation of dues: If for any reason whatsoever the defendant cannot be located, traced and apprehended and fails to surrender before the authorities even as he is out on bail, the court will decide the bail bond amount to be forfeited and the bail amount becomes payable by the bondsman to court. The existence of collateral underwriting the bond ensures that the bondsman gets the right to leverage the property to recover legitimate dues and related expenses.

The finest options when you are considering securing a bail bond with strong collateral

Whatever be the nature of collateral offered by a defendant, the bail bondsman is well advised to collect clear, authentic and verifiable information on the defendant or what is known as actionable intelligence. This means you know precisely where he lives, what he does for a living, who is happens to be living with, and who his intimate friends are, among many other details. The thorough bondsman will leave no stone unturned and he will record the full name, aliases, age and date of birth, address, contact numbers, e mail and Facebook details. Parting with this kind of detailed information motivates the defendant to stay within the boundaries of the law, and enables the bondsman to contact or locate the defendant whenever necessary.

Real Estate as the most preferred collateral security for a bail bond

This is undoubtedly the king of all collateral securities and wins on all counts because of appreciable value attached to landed property. To get a fairer idea about the value of the property one technique bondsmen use is to obtain the latest bill from the mortgagor, and deduct the bank loan outstanding from the estimated market value to get a realistic estimate of the equity available in the property. A quick check at the offices of the county recorder and assessor will unearth any liens, besides confirming the title of the defendant. In California transacting property is the number one way of collateralizing bail bonds.

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Vehicles are commonly used as collateral

Determining the value of a car or heavy vehicle is much easier and less complicated than property assessments, so this is a favored method of offering collateral for securing a bail bond. Bail bondsmen normally leverage the fair trade-in value of the vehicle to estimate the equity in a vehicle. Once the value of the vehicle and the title of its owner are both confirmed, a decision regarding the bond can be expedited.

Cash is much preferred upfront

If cash is accepted it usually has to be the full amount. It is a useful strategy when the bail amount is small enough and affordable enough to be paid upfront in cash.

Credit cards are a convenient method of securing bail bonds

There are credit card authorization mandates that enable bondsmen to use the card for penal payments if the defendant ultimately fails to live up to the courts conditions. This is a useful strategy for securing the cooperation of the cosigner or family member in eliciting information on a runaway client. Many cosigners have in fact delivered the client within days to the court to ensure that their money debited through their card was returned to them.

Jewelry with value appraised carefully is good collateral

Jewelry can be a quick and convenient way of securing a bail bond but it is acceptable only of its authenticity and value can be ascertained through a qualified jeweler, gemologist or trader in precious metals. A precaution worth noting is that jewelry when accepted as security should be properly described in the agreement and no imputation should be given regarding its true nature or value. Thus if you are presented a ring apparently made of gold with a diamond stone it would be safer to describe it as a yellow colored ring with a whitish pendant. This avoids problems when the time comes to return the security to its owner.

Promissory Notes can be useful to strengthen collateral

They won’t help you latch on to a devious defendant but when it comes to realize ability of security you can handover the note to a collection agency and reap the dividends of funds that flow in from the defendant’s accounts receivables.

Pinging the defendant’s mobile phone in an emergency

Obtaining advance authorization to be able to ping the defendant’s mobile is a useful way of staying in touch when the accused becomes untraceable. Most bail bondsmen get these documents executed.

For the bail bondsman the collateral securing his bail bond agreement is like an insurance policy that delivers only when disaster strikes but helps compensate losses, if any, that may be suffered by the insurer. The collateral is also the lifeline that keeps the defendant tethered to the bail bond deal, ensuring that he fully cooperates with the authorities in attending all hearings till the case is resolved and judgement delivered. It works both ways and helps both the parties.

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