When do I get my collateral back?

Collateral is returned to its owners immediately following the payment of all premiums and the “exoneration” of the bond by the court.

What is “collateral”?

Collateral provides added financial security to ensure that the defendant appears in court when he or she is supposed to. Collateral can be in the form of anything of financial value that is legally pledged to back up the promise that the defendant will appear on his or her appointed court date.

What is a “premium”?

A “premium” is the amount paid to a Bail bonds company for the many services and financial risks assumed by the Bail Bond Company, on behalf of the defendant. The amount of this premium varies from state to state, but typically ranges from 10% – 15% of the amount of the bail. This is similar to payment of any premium for an insurance policy.

What is the duration of a bond?

A bond is in effect until the defendant completes his obligations to the court. This usually means that it ends when the defendant appears in court when scheduled.

What is a bail bond?

When a defendant is charged with a crime, bail is set by the courts to assure the defendant’s appearance at the scheduled court date. The bail amount depends on many factors including the charges, past criminal history and likelihood that the defendant will show up for their court date. When the bail bond is posted for a defendant, it remains active until the defendant is sentenced or the charges are dismissed.

What does “forfeiture” mean?

A forfeiture occurs if a defendant fails to appear in court as scheduled. In this event, the bail bonds company is alotted a period of time (depending on the state) to “surrender” the defendant to the court with no financial consequences. If this does not happen, the bond is payable to the court by the Bail Bonds Company.