Basics on Collateral and Collateral Types for Bail Bonds

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Basics on Collateral and Collateral Types for Bail Bonds

collateral types bail bonds

There are several parts of the incarceration and release process that simply aren’t pleasant, and one of these for many defendants is the task of raising enough money to pay for the cost of bail or a bail bond. Many people who are arrested and jailed simply don’t have the kind of spare cash available to cover what are often hefty bail amounts, and there might even be some cases where coming up with enough money for a less expensive bond is still something of a struggle.

At Beehive Bail Bonds, we’re here to help. Not only do we offer 24/7 bail bond services for all our clients throughout Utah, we also provide assistance and tips in situations where coming up with the requisite funds is proving difficult. One common solution that’s often utilized within the bail and bail bond world for this situation, plus a number of others in the financial or debt world: Collateral, which refers to the use of other property or goods that have monetary value as a way of covering your needs. What is collateral, how is it often used within the bail bond world to help people who don’t have the requisite cash available, and what are the various value items that can be used for collateral? Here’s a primer on everything you need to know about this area.

Role of Collateral in Bail Bonds

As we noted above, collateral is commonly used in a few different situations you might run into, including certain loans or debt obligations. But one of the most common industries it’s present in is the bail bond world, where it’s common for some people who are incarcerated to be low on cash reserves – and therefore, to be looking for alternatives to secure a bond.

In such cases, bail bondsmen will typically work with clients on forming an adequate collateral setup. This will sometimes involve the client physically turning over certain items to the bondsman immediately as part of the collateral, or in other cases will involve collateral that can be collected if the accused does not show up for their hearing once they’re released. Our next several sections will go over some of the varying forms of collateral that may be used in a bail bond situation.


Likely the most common type of collateral used in a bail bond is property, which in most cases refers specifically to a lien given on a home or a specific area. There’s a good reason why physical property is generally acceptable to bail bond agents: Property and land have high value that tends to maintain and grow over a long period, and is not typically prone to major fluctuations on the market.

It’s important to note that in the vast majority of cases, bail bond agents will only accept property collateral if the property is fully owned – not if it’s being rented or you’re still paying the mortgage down. Some might be willing to take it if the mortgage is at least 80% paid off, but even this might be a stretch in some cases. And in any case where the defendant does not arrive for their hearing after being released, the bail bond agent can be foreclosed upon to allow the bail bond agent to recover their funds – for this reason, if you’re putting up property as bail bond collateral for yourself or especially on behalf of someone else, you should be supremely confident in your or their plans to show up for court dates and participate in the process.


Cars, trucks and other vehicles are also commonly used for collateral, but it’s important to make the same note as above: In nearly all cases, you must fully own your vehicle to use it as collateral, rather than still being in the process of making payments.

If this is the case, however, this is often a good option for those who need some help posting bail money. Even if you don’t own your car, there are other vehicle types that you could use here if you own them: A boat, snowmobile, tractor or trailer. Most bail bond agents will take these due to their high value. Again, though, if the defendant in question does not show up for their required court dates, repossession of these vehicles may happen to allow bail bond agents to recover their money.


Another type of collateral sometimes used is firearms, which refer to not only guns but also bows, crossbows and a few other types you might own. The important factor here is a relatively obvious one: Whether the firearms in question carry legitimate value, value that can be verified through some kind of reputable source. If this is the case, they can generally be used as a currency alternative for collateral.


Another high-value item that’s sometimes used for collateral is jewelry, though the types taken here will vary between bail bond agents. While most will accept types like gold, diamonds or others that hold their value pretty well over time, certain other forms of jewelry may see major value fluctuations, and therefore might not be accepted. Inquire about this area in advance if you’re looking to use jewelry as collateral.

Other Items of Value

And depending on the bail bond agent you’re working with, plus other factors like the defendant’s flight risk, there could be several other item types that will be accepted as collateral. As long as you can prove the worth of the item relative to the cost of the bond, there’s at least a chance it will be acceptable as collateral.

For more on bail bond collateral, or to learn about any of our bail bond services, defense attorney recommendations or other solutions, speak to the staff at Beehive Bail Bonds today.