Understanding Your Bail Bond Options: What Is a Property Bond and How Does It Work?
You never know when it might happen. You get a call in the middle of a night. A friend or loved one has been jailed and they need your help posting bail.
You have several options to consider. Your first thought might be contacting a bail bondsman. These companies will pay the full bail amount if you pay a fee upfront.
Usually, they’ll charge you 15% of the total bail amount. That fee won’t be returned to you even if found innocent or the case is dismissed.
Another option is getting either a property bond or paying the full bail amount in cash directly to the court or jail. If you don’t have that kind of cash to pony up, though, the property bond might be your best bet.
What Is a Property Bond?
Also called a secured bond, a property bond is a bail option where the defendant — or someone acting on their behalf — gives the court property worth the bail amount that has been set.
Since a bond is a promise that the defendant will show up for all their court proceedings, this property acts as collateral to motivate them to attend their set trials and hearings. If they don’t show up, the bond is forfeited, which means the property won’t be turned back over to you.
It’s similar to taking out a car loan or home mortgage. The bank secures a lien against these properties and if you fail to make a payment on them, they can seize them. If the defendant fails to live up to their end of the bond contract, the court will take ownership of the property.
How to Get a Property Bond
To get a property bond, you’ll first need to assess the value of your property and make sure it’s worth the amount required for the bond. You can have a court-appointed appraiser determine the value of your property. Or you can provide paperwork – a mortgage certificate, property deed, title history, tax documents – to confirm its value.
Once the court determines the property’s value, it will prepare the necessary paperwork. Then, the judge will review this paperwork and decide whether to grant bail release based on the property bond.
What Else Should You Know?
Remember that a property bond is a legally binding contract. If the defendant doesn’t appear for their court dates, the property may be foreclosed on so the court can collect the bail amount owed to it.
The real estate market in your area will determine whether the property bond is approved. If property values are low in your area, or there’s a low demand for property, the court might turn down your property bond request if they think they’ll have a difficult time selling it and recouping the money owed.
Also, property bonds aren’t allowed everywhere. So, check your jurisdiction to see if it’s an option.
Let Us Help You Secure a Property Bond
Bail bonds and the legal system can be confusing for the average person to navigate. Contact us to learn more about how you can easily secure a property bond. We’re here to serve as a trustworthy source that will stand by your side as you help your friend or loved one through this harrowing process.