If you've been arrested, your priority is returning to work and resuming your normal life as soon as possible. A bail bonds agent plays a key role in helping you regain your freedom by guaranteeing your bail for you.
But can the bail bonds agent pledge any type of assets as collateral to secure your release? Or do they need a surety bond from an insurance company? That question was recently before the courts in Colorado when a bail bonds agent used their own assets instead of insurance as collateral.
Personal Assets as Collateral
When a judge sets bail, the amount is typically more than most people can pay. This is where the bail bonds agent steps in. The bail bonds agent can use their own collateral or insurance to guarantee your bail.
The bail bond process is similar to using a personal guarantor. If a family member or friend pledges bail bond for you, they will pledge their own assets to guarantee your bail bond. Guarantors use bank accounts, credit cards, real estate, vehicles, stocks and bonds, and gold bars and jewelry as collateral.
The most common form of collateral used by bail bonds agents is insurance. The bail bonds agent enters into an insurance contract with an insurance company to guarantee your bail payment. The insurance company acts as the guarantor for the bail bonds agent in exchange for an insurance premium. Your bail bonds agent, in turn, charges you a fee (typically 10 percent of the bail amount) to act as your guarantor.
In the unfortunate case that you do not show up for court, the bail bond will come due. The insurance coverage will cover the cost of the bond. You are still liable to the bail bond service to pay your debt. If you do not make payment arrangements, the bond service could put a lien against your assets or garnish your wages.
Choosing an Experienced Bail Bonds Agent
In the Colorado case, the judge ruled that whether the bond is guaranteed by an insurance contract or the bail bonds agent's assets has no effect on the granting of bail. What matters is that the bail bonds agent follows the court rules and procedures for arranging for a bail bond.
When you need to post bail, therefore, your foremost concern should be the creditworthiness and reputation of the bail bonds agent. You can reduce the risk of problems by choosing a bail bonds agent with extensive experience working in the local court systems and a strong knowledge of bail bonds law and procedures.
To learn more, contact a bail bonds agent.
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