If you are accused of a crime and arrested, bail will be set for your release. Bail is a dollar amount set to ensure that you actually come back to your trial or other court dates. While bail is by no means a sure way to make sure that everyone returns, the incentives are high. If you don’t come back and instead “jump bail,” your money won’t be returned and if (and when) you are caught again, you’ll have another charge to add to your list, since jumping bail is a criminal offense. In addition, most judges won’t give you a second chance, so you won’t be able to pay bail the second time. You’ll be stuck in jail until your trial comes to court – which could be weeks or even months.
There are a number of different kinds of bail. You can either pay the bail yourself, in full, and get the money returned to you when you or you can pay 10% to a bail bondsman and not get that money back. Both choices work well for someone who has no intentions of jumping bail. There is, however, a third choice that some people don’t know about.
You can also get a property bail bond. This is a great option if you own your own home or a vacation home. The property basically becomes security as bail money would. Note that in order to use your property, however, you may have to go through extensive paperwork. In some states, you may also have to move out until the property is effectively yours again. It depends on your state’s laws.
In order to qualify for a property bail bond, you must first and foremost own property. If you have a mortgage, the entire value of your property cannot be considered. Instead, an appraiser will determine the fair market value of the property and the amount you still owe on your mortgage loan will be subtracted from that. This gives you your equity. Only your equity can be considered when a judge is deciding whether or not you’ll be permitted to use your property as collateral for bail.
Your property doesn’t have to b completely paid off, but the equity you do have to be quite substantial. Say you have your bail set at $100,000. If your house is worth $100,000, it will not be sufficient to use for bail. In most cases, your property has to be worth double the amount of the bail bond amount. That means, for a $100,000 bail bond, you have to have $200,000.
If you use your property in a property bail bond, the court will get a lien for the bail amount. This lien gives them the right to foreclose on your property if you disappear when you court date arrives. Legally, they can sell it very quickly if they want. After all, the court system is not in the business of real estate investing. Selling quickly means that they’ll sell below market value in most cases, which is why your property has to be worth more than your bail bond amount. So, if you’re going to go with a property bail bond, make sure that you consider you options carefully.