Bail is a set amount of money set by the court and judge based on the arrested person’s reputation, flight risk and criminal record. If it was a misdemeanor and they don’t have an extensive criminal history, it is likely bail will be approved. In some cases, bail is set at a higher amount than you have money for, thus requiring another way to finance the bail. For some, bail is over $20,000 and even closer to $100,000. In these cases, using mortgage or property you own might be your only option.
How and Why to Use Mortgage
Most likely, you aren’t using a mortgage for getting the cash, but as collateral for the bonding company. While the company is going to ask for a percentage of the bond amount, they may also want collateral as well. It helps when the bond is set at a higher amount, as putting up your property reduces their risk of the lost money if the person arrested disappears. The mortgage can be for your house, business property you own, residential property, or even the insurance policies for your home or business.
Once you have spoken to a bonding company and decided to put up your mortgage or property as collateral, you will need to find the proper documentation. You should have a document that shows you are indeed the owner of this property. You will also need to fill out a form called Declaration of Trust of Real Estate to Secure Performance of a Bail Bond. The bonding company should have them on hand, otherwise you can print online and fill them out. This document will ask for the address of the property, value and any liens you currently have on the property.
Informing the Bail Bondsman
Once you have your documentation and the proper form filled out, pay the 10% bail amount fee to the bail bondsman. While you are using your mortgage for bail as collateral, this is not usually the only requirement of the bonding company. They also need a percentage of the original bail amount as their fee for their services. A payment arrangement is also possible. Once you let them know you are using property as collateral, they are more likely to approve the bonding contract.
Consequences of Using Property
One thing you need to understand about using your home or property as collateral, is that the bonding company can seize your property if anything goes wrong. Make sure this is what you intend to do, as you will owe the bond money if your loved one goes missing. If they do not appear for their court date, the court is not going to reimburse the bail amount to the bonding agent, which means you either have to pay it in full, or you lose your house. Collateral is not always required, but if it is, make sure you think about it before jumping into this decision.