For as long as bail has existed, countless people have used collateral of all types to secure bail bonds and stay out of jail during pending cases. Having the ability to put up collateral to secure a bail bond comes in handy, especially for those who lack immediate access to cash. Houses, cars, and jewelry are just some of the more common assets that are often used as collateral for bail bonds.
There are plenty of uncommon and unusual assets that are often turned over to bail bond agents in exchange for bail. Read on to discover what these types of collateral are and how bail bond agents handle those assets.
1. Animals and Livestock
For anyone who's not familiar with rural life, it's tough to think of horses, cattle, and other livestock as being valuable enough to use as collateral. Nevertheless, it's not unusual to see farmers turn part of their livestock over to bail bond agents in exchange for bail bonds. To get an idea of just how valuable certain animals and livestock can be, economist Stan Bevers estimated a typical heifer's value at roughly $2,400 to $2,500.
It's not just livestock that can be valuable enough to use as collateral. Animals bred and groomed for pedigree and competition are often valued at tremendous sums, with some values exceeding the six-figure range. In 2009, a two-year old race horse of high pedigree known as "The Green Monkey" was sold at auction for an eye-watering $16 million.
As with any other type of collateral, the hard part of using animals and livestock as collateral is determining a fair value that can be used to secure the bond. Of course, the animals in question must be left in the bail bond agent's custody or with a trusted surrogate who can provide proper accommodations. For these reasons, it's not often that you see bail bond agents accept animals and livestock as collateral.
2. Farm Equipment
Along with collateral of the four-legged kind, bail bond agents also accept four-wheeled collateral in the form of farm equipment. Tractors, combines, and other powered and non-powered farming implements are fair game when it comes to collateral, due in large part to their strong values on the open market. Bail bond agents can secure bonds based on this collateral and recover their losses if the bond goes into default.
3. Fine Art and Antiques
Whether they're rare works of art valued at millions of dollars or collectibles with much more modest values, many people have used fine artworks and antiques as collateral to secure bail bonds. Sculptures, paintings, and carvings, along with antique furniture, music instrument,s and mint-condition books and magazines, are among the many antiques and artwork that are occasionally handed over to bail bond agents as collateral.
To safeguard against fakes and other types of subterfuge, these items must have their history and value proven and thoroughly verified before being accepted as collateral. These steps ensure the bail bond agents can recover their losses if necessary.
4. Savings and Investment Accounts
Savings accounts and investments such as stocks, bonds, and certificates can also be used as collateral in lieu of cash or property. These assets are often treated the same as any other type of collateral that's used to secure bail bonds. Bonds based on savings and investment collateral can be scary, as losing these valuable assets often means losing one's life savings.
Rifles, handguns, and most other types of firearms can be used as collateral, provided they are legal to own and not specifically prohibited by law. In most cases, the collateral in question will remain in a safe and secure location for the duration of the bail bond.
To learn more about options for collateral, contact a bail bond agent in your area.