We all have an idea regarding what bail really is. It’s an amount that people pay in order to get out of jail. However, it doesn’t just end there.
Bail is more of a guarantee that you’ll show up for hearings whenever you’re summoned by the court. Furthermore, the chances of getting bail also depend on certain factors which include your criminal record etc.
When Do Bail Agents Come In?
Sometimes the bail amount is too high and you cannot afford to pay it. In these cases, you can turn to bail agents who can pay the amount on your behalf.
You’ll be required to pay 10% of the bail amount before you’re released. This amount is non-refundable. In some cases, the bail agent might also ask you to offer collateral.
Collateral refers to an asset that you place with a bail agent in addition to money as a security. It can be any kind of asset like property. Let’s look at some examples of collateral:
Property is most commonly used as collateral. However, the bail agents will first assess its value before accepting it as collateral. They will ask for a receipt from the bank or other financial institution that provided loan for property in order to do so.
They will also get in touch with assessors in order to ensure that there are no liens on the property and get an idea regarding the value of the property.
Bail agents usually go for promissory notes when they are dealing with wayward clients. These notes are actually a form of liability which allows the agent to collect money from creditors in case the accused misses a trial or tries to evade.
Credit cards too can be used as collateral. In order to do so, you’ll need to provide credit card authorization to the agent. In case the accused misses the trial, the agent can use the card to recover their losses.
If you fail to appear for the trial, bail agents can do two things with the collateral; they can liquidate it and recover their money or they can use it as motivation to convince the clients to surrender to the court.