Possessions You Might Use as Collateral so You Can Bail Your Spouse out of Jail Fast
If your spouse gets charged with a crime and ends up in jail, you may get a call to come bail them out. Depending on the charges, you may or may not be able to afford bail. If you don't have cash to give the jail or court, then you'll need to get a bail bond instead. A bail bond usually requires about ten percent of the bail amount in cash and the rest in collateral. Here are some things you might use as collateral for a bail bond and what to consider when you choose.
Valuable Personal Items
The amount of bail depends on the type of crime, your spouse's risk of fleeing, and your spouse's criminal history. If the bail is fairly low, you might be able to use personal valuables for collateral. This might include your wedding rings, jewelry, a valuable sports card collection, guns, computers, TVs, or anything else that has value around your home that would be worth something to a pawn shop. The items are usually turned over to the bail bond company, and the company holds them until your spouse's case is resolved.
The bond company won't sell your things or pawn them unless your spouse fails to show for the court date. If that happens, you won't get your valuables back. If you can't fully trust your spouse to show up for court, then using small valuables might be the best choice for collateral since losing them won't greatly disrupt your life, even though their loss will be a financial hit and might inconvenience you.
Vehicles and Boats
Another option for collateral is your car. However, your car has to be paid off so you can give the bail bond company the title. If you still owe a lot of money on your car, it can't be used as collateral. If you do use your car or pickup, then the bond company may allow you to continue using it if you rely on it as a daily driver. Then, when your spouse's case is closed, you'll get back the title to your car, but if your spouse doesn't show up for court, then you'll have to let the bond company take your vehicle. Besides a car or pickup, you might use a motorcycle, boat, camper, or RV as collateral for bail. You might even use an ATV or tractor as long as they have enough value to cover bail costs.
Homes and Land
If the bail for your spouse is fairly high, you may need to put your house up for collateral. However, this requires that you have enough equity in the home to cover bail costs. You could use a condo, your primary residence, a vacation home, a rental property, or vacant land. In the case of very high bail, you may need to use multiple properties. Using property for bail carries a higher risk since you could lose your home if your spouse doesn't show up for court. However, you'll be able to live in the home while it's being used as collateral until the case is closed.
In some cases, bail is set so high that you won't be able to get your spouse out of jail, and a judge may intentionally do that so your spouse can't get out. If the bail amount is within your means so you can come up with ten percent in cash and the rest in collateral, then talk to a bail bond agent about your options for collateral that will satisfy them while being the least risky for you so you can get your spouse home fast. Click here to look at more info about bail bonds.