Understanding Property Bail Bonds

In some areas in the United States a defendant can pledge a piece of valuable property as collateral in order to make bail. The defendant sets up the property bail bond directly with the court by signing documents allowing the court to place a lien against the property in case the defendant does not comply with their legal obligations.

The property must obviously be valued at least equal to the bail amount. Often, the court requires the property to be valued at twice the bail amount. The court will require the property to be officially appraised by a real estate appraiser. If the defendant forfeits the bond, the property is sold or put up for foreclosure.

All registered and provable owners of the property must sign off on it being used as collateral for bail

Bail laws are a state issue, so property bond laws vary by state. Some states allow various kinds of expensive property to be used as collateral; others only allow real estate to be used, while many states don’t allow for property bail bonds at all.

Some states have various kinds of other stipulations for property bonds, like requiring the property owner to own fire insurance.

There are other cases when other kinds of property bail agreements are made. Some states allow for a surety bond, in which a third party pays the bail to use property as collateral. Usually, in this case, it is a family member and not a bondsman who is posting the bail.

Some bail bondsman require for a co-signer to sign on to a bail bond agreement. This way, the bondsman’s investment is backed by a friend or family member of the defendant, providing extra incentive for the defendant to follow through, or risk their loved one losing their money. Either the co-signer or the bondsman could choose that the co-signer will use property to back the bail bond agreement. 

Posted by Javi Calderon, on April 27, 2012 at 7:31 AM