Before a bail bond agent agrees assist you with getting out of jail, they must evaluate the risk level you pose. When they do this, they may decide to ask for collateral from you. You might need to offer enough collateral to cover the fees and the bail amount, but this varies. Here are some vital things to know about using collateral and getting it back.

There Is Always a Fee

When you use a bail bond agent's services, there is always a fee. You cannot get around paying this fee. It's a must-have with bail bonds. The fee might be 10% of the bail price, but it can be more than this. If you don't have cash to pay it, you can pay the fee with collateral.

If you use collateral to pay the fee, the agent might keep the collateral. The collateral to cover the fee, in this situation, is the only thing the agent has for a profit with the case. There is a way to get this collateral back, though.

You May Need More Collateral Than the Fee Amount

If you are a flight risk to the court, you are always a flight risk to the bail bond agent. A person who is a flight risk is someone with a high probability of fleeing the area or not showing up to court. These are both big problems. If you flee the area or fail to come to court, you are not following through with your part of the bargain.

Therefore, if the agent believes that you might do this, they may require more collateral. There are times when agents require enough collateral to cover the entire bail price.

For example, if your bail is $10,000, you can typically get out of jail through a bail bond by paying $1,000. If you are a flight risk, though, you may need to provide $11,000 in collateral. This amount would cover the fee and the bail amount.

How You Get the Collateral Back

The good news is that providing collateral gives you a way out of jail. The other good news is that you can get the collateral back from the agent. When the court dismisses, closes, or ends your case, they will release the bail money. When your agent gets the money back, they will give you your collateral back. If you want the collateral back that you used to pay the fee, you may have to come up with cash to pay the fee.

These are the basic principles of how collateral works with bail. To learn more, speak with a bail bond agent.