The average national bail amount is $10,000 – a number most people can’t afford to pay. Thankfully, bail bond services exist to help those individuals in a pinch.
Thanks to the local bail bondsman, loved ones don’t need to languish in a cell while they await trial. While many are thankful for this service, the bondsman is still talking quite a risk putting the money up.
The higher the bond, the bigger the gamble. That’s why many bondsmen seek collateral in exchange for their risk, but what does collateral mean?
To find out more about the best forms of collateral, continue reading below.
What Does Collateral Mean?
Rather than presenting cash, bail bondsman customers have the option of putting up goods. This collateral can take many forms, but it should be worth the amount of the bail.
Putting up collateral requires the bondsman to hold the valuable item until the court date, returning the item if the individual appears in court.
A Valuable Vehicle
Vehicles are a diverse form of collateral. Not only can these include cars or trucks, but even boats or motorhomes.
Before accepting a vehicle as collateral, a bail bondsman needs to discern the true value of it. Check the trade-in value as you will need to sell the vehicle should there be a failure to appear in court.
Then, the title needs to be executed in your name. This is to make sure there will be no legal issues should you need to sell it.
A Piece of Property
Real estate is another form of collateral although, like vehicles, it can be difficult to determine its value.
Bondsman need to scrutinize mortgage documents to deduct payments on the lien from the total cost of the loan. The difference is the equity, or the value, of the property.
Jewelry and Gemstones
Like vehicles and real estate, the value of jewelry and gemstones needs to be determined before it’s accepted as collateral.
Appraising jewelry can be a much more complicated task than doing so with property or vehicles. Not only do you need professional knowledge of the industry, but you need to accurately write what materials are in the jewelry on the receipt.
If this form of collateral is too risky for you, you can always suggest the customer pawn the jewelry themselves and bring the cash.
Sometimes customers don’t have liquid cash, but don’t forget to ask about their investment profiles. Items like stock, bonds, and certificates of deposit can easily be liquidated for cash.
Items to Pawn
Any pawnable items in good or great condition also have potential as collateral. The best items in the category are electronics. Laptops, computers, gaming systems, televisions, and even instruments can fetch a good amount of cash.
Become a Bondsman
Bail bondsmen are not the most celebrated careers, but they do help the public. They help reunite loved ones separated by the justice system.
When becoming a bail bondsman, don’t forget to ask yourself- what does collateral mean? This is one of the most important aspects of the industry.
If you’re interested in becoming a bail bondsman, don’t hesitate to contact us for professional guidance.