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What Can Be Used as Collateral?

After being arrested, the defendant will have the opportunity to be released from jail until the scheduled court date, if they post bail. When posting bail, it is typically expected that 10 percent of the actual bail will be paid with money or collateral. Bail is generally an unexpected expense; so many people can’t afford to pay the required ten percent, so the option of collateral is offered. Collateral that is used for bail must be equal in value to the bail. Here are some things you can use for bail collateral.

Real Estate

When you use real estate, whether it is your house or a piece of land, you are required to present the deed to the property to the bail bond agent. It is important to keep in mind that this is an extremely risky form of collateral, because if the defendant doesn’t appear in court, and they cannot be located, you risk losing your home. The deed to the property will not be returned to you until the defendant appears in court.

Motor Operated Vehicle

There are several types of vehicles that can be used as collateral, including:

  • Automobiles
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Boat
  • Camper
  • All-terrain vehicle
  • Motorcycle

For many people, this is the best option for collateral, because you have the option of choosing which vehicle you are the most comfortable forfeiting should the defendant not appear in court.


Jewelry that has a value that is equivalent to the amount of the bail can be used as collateral. You may be required to show a certificate of authenticity when using jewelry or other precious metals as collateral. Any precious metals, including gold, silver and/or items with gemstones, such as diamonds, can often be used as collateral, as long as the value of the item can be determined to be equal to the value of the bond.

Stocks and Bonds

Almost any form of investment, such as certificates of deposit, stocks and bonds can be used as collateral for a bail bond. It’s important to be sure you trust that the defendant will appear in court because if they skip bail, you will lose the investment.

Once the case is completed, regardless of whether the charges are dropped, or the defendant is sentenced to jail time, the collateral will be returned. However, if the person does not appear in court on the scheduled date and time, the collateral will be seized by the bail bond agent or the court.

At Free at Last Bail Bonds, we understand the importance and urgency of reuniting families. If you or a loved one needs our services, we are here for you 24 hours a day at 470-410-3409.

Bail, Collateral, Jail